Ajmer shrine security being beefed up
The Rajasthan state security agencies have been put on high alert and security strengthened at the famous dargah (shrine) of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer visited by millions after reports of lapses.
Jaipur: The Rajasthan state security agencies have been put on high alert and security strengthened at the famous dargah (shrine) of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer visited by millions after the union home ministry pointed out many lapses.
Security arrangements at the dargah, which was rocked by a terror attack in 2007, were insufficient, the home ministry said in its latest report.
After receiving the report, state Home Minister Shanti Dhariwal Sunday announced a visit to the shrine July 6. Senior administration officials have also been asked to hold meetings of concerned departments to rectify the situation.
According to sources, state Chief Secretary S. Ahmed recently received the report in which questions have been raised over the poor security arrangements, including inadequate security staff, close-circuit TVs and other surveillance gadgets and rampant encroachment around the dargah building.
The report suggests that CCTVs, high-beam cameras, door-frame and hand held metal detectors, X-ray luggage machines and other security gadgets in the shrine are in poor shape. "The ministry says that the number of such gadgets should be increased and they should be properly maintained," a senior home department officer told reporters.
The ministry has asked for a complete ban on allowing mobile phones, match boxes, shoes and inflammable items into the dargah building.
Due to the heavy influx of devotees visiting the dargah during Urs, the ministry has said that the entry and exit points should be separated.
"The report has also sought a considerable increase in the deployment of police personnel and emergency response teams," said the officer.
"The report says that almirahs allotted to the dargah khadims (priests) are posing a serious security threat and these should be removed immediately," he added.
He added that as per the instructions in the report, that has partly been prepared on suggestions of the ministry of minority affairs, Ajmer`s divisional commissioner will hold a meeting with the police superintendent, district collector and other senior police and administration officials.
The shrine in Ajmer city is some 130 km from state capital Jaipur. The Oct 11, 2007, blast claimed three lives and left 15 others injured. The shrine attracts millions of devotes every year, specially during Urs, from all over the globe.