He has been a symbol of 'ahimsa' or non-violence, but ironically Mahatma Gandhi's memorial, Rajghat, now is being guarded by armed jawans of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).
"From August 1 onwards, the security of Rajghat has been taken over by around three dozen personnel of the CISF," said a CISF official requesting anonymity.
However, CISF sources said only commandos posted at the entry gate will carry weapon. Those posted inside won't carry weapons but will be in uniform.
The issue of deploying armed guards at Rajghat was pending for the last six years but after the Bodh Gaya serial blasts, the government decided to adopt a cautious approach and serious deliberations took place on the issue. Then the union home ministry decided to bring in the CISF for the Rajghat.
Besides Rajghat, there are nine other memorials such as Shakti Sthal (Indira Gandhi), Veer Bhumi (Rajeev Gandhi), Vijay Sthal (Lal Bahadur Shastri), Kisan Ghat (Chaudhry Charan Singh) on the banks of Yamuna that were brought under armed security from 2004.
Post the Bodh Gaya blasts, the security of all iconic places is being audited. The government was hesitant at fist. The government was hesitant at fist. But since Rajghat is visited by international dignitaries and thronged by people, the government went ahead.