A threat phone call traced to Assam has put one of the most popular Hindu temples in Bihar capital Patna on the terror radar.
An unidentified person called up the railway control room at 12.30am on Thursday, threatening to carry out a subversive act at the ‘Mahavir Sthan’ situated close to the Patna junction railway station.
The threat has prompted the Bihar Police to beef up security in the temple, dedicated to Hanuman, the companion of Lord Rama.
Coming barely a few months after the serial blasts in renowned Buddhist pilgrimage town Bodh Gaya, the police took no chances.
Significantly, in the Bodh Gaya serial explosions too, the police had said clocks brought from a shop in Assam's capital Guwahati were used in the bombs.
“An exhaustive search was carried out on the temple premises soon after the message was flashed and it continued till 8am. The state police and the government railway police (GRP) pressed into service dog and bomb squads,” said a senior police officer.
Whether the threat was for real or merely a prank, nobody knows for sure.
On June 21 this year, security had been beefed up around the temple following an intelligence input that two suspected terrorists from Scotland and Saudi Arabia — identified as Sarful Rahman and Sahidur Rahman — had sneaked into Patna and could target this temple and other important installations.
Patna senior superintendent of police Manu Maharaj said the phone call was received at the railway control room. “We have taken it seriously and the security has been beefed up with additional forces.”
For the moment, six special auxiliary police (SAP) jawans, six district armed police (DAP) jawans and three women constables have been deployed there, he added.
According to railway sources, the call has been traced to a mobile phone in Assam. The Assam Police have been contacted to trace the SIM and the caller, said an official.
Thousands of people visit the Mahavir Temple every day, while the number swells during important festivals.
“We have written thrice to the district administration as well as the Patna Municipal Corporation to rid the area of encroachment, as it is a pressing need in view of the security threat. We hope something happens now. The area is so congested that anybody can indulge in mischief,” said an officer.