Safety plan for holy cities | india | Hindustan Times
  • Saturday, Jun 23, 2018
  •   °C  
Today in New Delhi, India
Jun 23, 2018-Saturday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

Safety plan for holy cities

THE UNION home ministry will soon work out a special security and intelligence plan specifically for the holy cities of Varanasi, Ayodhya and Mathura in UP. The decision was taken at a high-level meeting in the ministry late on Tuesday evening, in wake of the serial blasts at Varanasi. Additional battalions of the CRPF have been rushed to all three cities.

india Updated: Mar 08, 2006 02:25 IST

THE UNION home ministry will soon work out a special security and intelligence plan specifically for the holy cities of Varanasi, Ayodhya and Mathura in UP. The decision was taken at a high-level meeting in the ministry late on Tuesday evening, in wake of the serial blasts at Varanasi. Additional battalions of the CRPF have been rushed to all three cities.

According to sources, both the ministry and central intelligence agencies were absolutely clueless that Varanasi might be targeted, even though there had been specific reports in the past that militant outfits were planning to strike in the city. Following the militant attack in Ayodhya last year, security in Varanasi - particularly at the Gyanvapi Temple - and in Mathura, Ayodhya and Agra had been beefed up. But there were no intelligence inputs in the last few months to suggest that there could be trouble in Varanasi.

Senior officials feel that just tightening the security at these places isn't enough and that arrangements need to be made more stringent and foolproof. The ministry will convene a meeting with senior state officials to work out the new security and intelligence arrangement.

"The serial bombings have revealed that there must be separate plans for each of the three cities, keeping in mind local problems and requirements.

Furthermore, there has to be greater emphasis on intelligence-gathering, which failed completely in the case of Varanasi," a top ministry official said.

The situation also points to failure on the part of the UP police, because the ministry had in a recent communication to the state police expressed concern over the increasing number of "sleeper agents for militant groups and ISI in UP".

It had asked the police to launch a special drive against these agents.

Meanwhile, Union home secretary V.K. Duggal said the Centre had placed 500 CRPF personnel at the disposal of the UP, 200 of them in Varanasi.