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Heightened vigil at all temples in Vizag


Close on the heels of desecrations of Hindu idols and attacks on temples, the Vizag city police have stepped up vigil at all temples in the city in view of the series of attacks taking place in the State. Special Security meetings were organised with temple committees under several police station limits here on Sunday. The officials found that several temples do not have either security arrangements or CCTV surveillance.

On the instructions of Police Commissioner Manish Kumar Sinha, the Station House Officers (SHOs) inspected security aspects at all major and minor religious places within their limits. The police appealed to the committees to install CCTV cameras as well as post security personnel.

Recently about the 400-year-old idol of Sri Rama at Ramatheertham temple in Vizianagaram district was vandalized by unidentified miscreants. A few days ago, Komalamma temple, a major place of worship for the tribal people at Paderu in Visakhapatnam district, was attacked by unidentified persons.

Security aspects in Sri Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple at Simhachalam here was reviewed by the Gopalapatnam police. The police also visited Bhairava Kona, Pydimamba temple, Bangaruthalli temple, and Sri Venkateswara temple at Simhachalam. Gopalapatnam police said that four security guards were newly posted at Bhairava Kona and Sri Venkateswara Swamy temple. Meanwhile, 16 new CCTV cameras were installed atop Simhachalam. Similarly, the security review was carried out at One Town, III Town, airport police station limits, and other areas.

The Police Commissioner said that all the police officials had conducted meetings with committee members of various temples. The police have asked the committees to ensure that a volunteer slept on the temple premises. There would be dedicated temple beats in every police station. Alcoholics would not be allowed to loiter around temple premises, he said.

“Movement of criminals involved in temple thefts are being tracked. The help of Mahila police is also being taken,” he said. According to police, there are about 1,580 places of worship in the city. Of them, 1,223 are temples. Among the temples, the police found that 417 temples have CCTV cameras, while 806 do not. Similarly, 425 temples are maintaining security personnel, while 798 are not having any security. Police also said that 119 of 262 churches do not have security personnel and 148 churches do not have CCTV cameras.

Similarly, 43 of 95 masjids do not have security personnel and 28 do not have CCTV cameras. The police officials said that security will be reviewed at churches and mosques also.

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