iconimg Monday, August 31, 2015

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Varanasi, July 08, 2013
The Buddhist sites at Sarnath will now have permanent deployment of security personnel following the serial blasts at the Mahabodhi temple complex in neighbouring Bihar’s Bodh Gaya on Sunday morning. Disclosing this here, Varanasi district police chief Ajay Mishra instructed Cantonment circle officer BK Singh to carry out a security audit at Sarnath which has the Dhamnek and Chaukhandi stupas as well as the Mulgandhi Kuti Vihara among the prominent Buddhist sites.

Reports said the Sarnath sites may also be on the radar of terror outfits. There was no provision of permanent deployment of security personnel at Sarnath earlier, sources said.

Varanasi on the whole is on high alert after the Sunday blasts as the temple town has been witness to terror attacks in the past.

Kashi, as Varanasi is popularly known, witnessed blasts at the Sankat Mochan temple on March 7, 2006, court premises on November 23, 2007 and Sheetla ghat on December 7, 2010.

With the Muslim holy month of Ramzan starting in a few days and the auspicious Hindu month of Shrawan month beginning on July 23, the serial blasts in Bodh Gaya have put the police administration here on its toes.

“High alert has been sounded in the city in view of serial bomb blasts at the Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya. Security is being stepped up at all vital installations in the city,” the SSP said.

As a result, more security personnel have been deployed at the historic Kashi Vishwanath temple. evotees entering the temple through Chattadwar were frisked with hand-held metal detectors.

Security has also been tightened at the Sankat Mochan temple. Besides, security personnel have been deployed at all the entry and exit points of the Varanasi cantonment railway station.

Bomb disposal squad and antisabotage teams have been put on high alert in the city. Provincial armed constabulary (PAC) personnel have also been deployed as a precautionary measure.

Security has also been tightened at the Babatpur airport here with the CISF jawans being deployed on the runway.