Steps in place to thwart any security threat: Kumbh official



Haridwar: In view of the huge gathering for the Kumbh mela starting here on Thursday, organisers are working closely with state and central security agencies to thwart any untoward incident.

"There is always a serious threat," chief mela officer Anand Bardhan said. "In fact where such huge crowd gathers, there is always a potential...," Bardhan told PTI.

Refusing to elaborate on any specific terror alert, he said the administration is taking all necessary steps.

Official sources said there is a terror threat to the mela especially on January 26. The security measures have been so tough that even 'akharas' or religious orders have been advised to issue identity cards to their sadhus.

All hotels have been instructed to give out rooms only on production of valid identity cards and surprise checks would be conducted to ensure that guidelines are followed. Moreover, even for the media persons, who have come to the city in large numbers from across the country and abroad, special passes have been introduced only on the basis of valid I-cards issued by their respective organisations and after proper verification.

Security at all entry, exit and sensitive points in and around the mela have been handed over to paramilitary personnel, Bardhan said, adding the district administration has also increased the number of CCTV cameras besides ensuring deployment of large number of police personnel including commandos and bomb disposal squads. He said the organisers were expecting arrival of about five crore devotees, sadhus and tourists from different parts of the country and abroad

PTI