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Delhi under extra security cover

Unprecedented security arrangements were in place in the capital, especially at places of worship, following the recent terror attacks in Ajmer and Ludhiana.

delhi Updated: Oct 15, 2007 19:23 IST

Unprecedented security arrangements were in place in the capital, especially at places of worship, following the recent terror attacks in Ajmer and Ludhiana.

"It's a festival season and people throng temples and markets in large numbers, so we have tightened security in all 10 districts in the capital," Delhi Police spokesman Rajan Bhagat said.

"We are talking with all Ram Leela committees and a series of meetings have also been held with authorities of railway, Delhi Metro, the airport and multiplex owners. They are thoroughly briefed with do's and don'ts," Bhagat told IANS.

He said around 6,000 additional paramilitary and Delhi Armed Police forces personnel were deployed at strategic locations in the capital. The number of police personnel patrolling popular markets has also been increased.

"We are deploying extra police control room (PCR) vans, spotters, shooters, close circuit television cameras (CCTV) and metal detectors in all busy and crowded market places. We request people to immediately inform the police about any suspicious object lying unattended," Bhagat added.

Memories of the triple blasts that ripped through the capital on Oct 29, 2005 and killed over 60 people ahead of the Diwali festival are still quite alive in people's minds.

Said Veena Sharma, an employee with a nationalized bank: "We go out to markets or temples believing that the police officials are well-equipped to tackle any situation, but they have always been of little help."

Ashish Kulkarni, who often visits the Sarojini Nagar market, said: "Protecting lives is the police's responsibility and despite their claims of placing impeccable security, untoward accidents do occur here and there."

Meanwhile, Sayeed Ahmed Bhukari, the Shahi Imam of the historic Jama Masjid, criticised the police for deploying only a few personnel during the time of Eid.

"The Delhi Police are not efficient to guard the mosque and there is no round-the-clock security. The mosque is left unguarded completely, even during the festival season, making it an easy target of any terror attack," Bukhari told IANS.
The police can only maintain law and order and are not much trained in making security arrangements, he added.

However, Vijendra Nanda Das, director (communication) with the popular International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) temple in New Delhi, seemed satisfied over the arrangements.

"We have upgraded security this time as per the police directions. For the first time, the police are providing female constables to check women devotees. Temple authorities are completely satisfied with their arrangements," Das said.