Home Ministry to finalise safety plan for holy sites
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Home Ministry to finalise safety plan for holy sites

A meeting of senior officials of the Home Ministry will be held to review the situation arising out of the blasts.

india Updated: Mar 10, 2006 22:30 IST

Alarmed by the two powerful bomb blasts in the temple town of Varanasi, the Union Home Ministry has started working out an exclusive and exhaustive security and plan for the holy sites of Varanasi, Ayodhya and Mathura.

A meeting of senior officials of the Home Ministry will be held on Wednesday to review the situation arising out of the blasts and also to work out plans to ensure that the Varanasi incident does not disturb communal harmony.

Home Minister Shivraj Patil, who visited the affected area in Uttar Pradesh along with National Advisory Council Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday night, will be closeted with the officials to plan a future strategy.

Home Ministry sources said the need for a separate security and intelligence plan for the three important religious sites in Uttar Pradesh has been felt in the wake of the Varanasi blasts.

All the state governments have been asked to work out a contingent safety plan for the religious places in their concerned states.

Sources said the high-level meeting in the ministryon Tuesdaynight strongly felt the need for a security plan for Varanasi, Ayodhya and Mathura.

Today's meeting would also decide if any additional reinforcements would have to be rushed to Uttar Pradesh and other parts of the country. CRPF personnel have already been rushed to the cities.

What worries the ministry most was a possible flare up in other places. This was also discussed in Tuesday's meeting.

The entire forces under the control of the ministry have been kept ready so that they could be rushed to any place where they may be required to contain any flare up.

Wednesday's meeting would review how the central and state intelligence agencies have gone clueless about the incident, though there have been reports suggesting that the three places are in the hit list of fundamentalist organisations.

In fact, security apparatus at Varanasi and Mathura was widened following the terror attack in Ayodhya last year.

It was pointed out that there were no clues in the past six months suggesting any possible strike in Varanasi.

Immediately after Tuesday's incident, the ministry placed 500 men from the CRPF under the disposal of the Uttar Pradesh government to ensure that there is no communal disturbance on account of the incident. Out of the 500 personnel, 250 were deployed in Varanasi.

Security in Delhi, which witnessed serial blasts in October last year, has been augmented, especially in the context of the ongoing Parliament session.

Delhi police has mounted random checks at guest houses and hotels since last night, besides checking of vehicles coming in.

First Published: Mar 08, 2006 11:52 IST