Security beefed up at Vellore port



Vellore: Security has been beefed up around a mosque under the protection of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in a 16th century Fort here following a tip-off that a group of Muslims might enter it forcibly and offer prayers tomorrow.

Various Muslim organisations, including Tamilnadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam, have staged agitations in the past demanding that ASI throw open the mosque for offering prayers.

The ASI's stand has been that it could not grant permission since the mosque was not in use for worship when the fort was declared a monument in 1921.

The TMMK has recently renewed its demand for allowing prayers in the mosque by December 31, failing which it would stage a demonstration.

Officials said they had information that a group of Muslims from Perambalur District would storm the mosque. As a precautionary measure, barbed wire fence has been put around the mosque and the police strength increased for round-the-clock vigil, officials said today.

An additional police force of six persons headed by a sub-inspector would stand guard at the entrance of the mosque in addition to another six-member team already posted there.

PTI