Sankat Mochan not on security radar

AN ATTACK on a temple was always on the cards in the city, but not at the Sankat Mochan shrine. For a long time, trouble was expected around Gyanwapi Mosque in the old city area, where the focus has been on the Lord Vishwanath temple adjoining the mosque wall.

india Updated: Mar 08, 2006 02:25 IST

AN ATTACK on a temple was always on the cards in the city, but not at the Sankat Mochan shrine.

For a long time, trouble was expected around Gyanwapi Mosque in the old city area, where the focus has been on the Lord Vishwanath temple adjoining the mosque wall.

The place is well-equipped with close circuit cameras and security presence.
Even the call of Jalabhishek by the Shiv Sainiks of and on, has been managed by heavy police force. Which is perhaps the reason that for the past 10 years have seen no communal tension around the Gyanwapi Mosque.

Tuesday's crowd was no different from theregular throng, except that over a dozen couples tied nuptial knot on the campus.

The temple is over 400 years old. Legend has it Goswami Tulsidas himself fashioned the mud idol of Lord Hanuman in the temple.

It is the only temple where the idol of Lord Hanuman faces the idol of Lord Rama, Godess Sita and Laxman.

“The blast was so strong that it was heard in the entire Lanka area. People ran out of the complex after the blast and many were hurt as they fell down in the overcrowded complex,” said an eyewitness, Tripti, who resides near the Sankat Mochan temple.

The temple gets maximum devotees between 5 pm to 10 pm and the blast also happened in the peak hours.

However, some of the residents blamed the cops. "Reports did came from the intelligence that major temples like Durga Temple and the Sankat Mochan are on target from terrorist groups but security even on Tuesday remained minimal," said Ratnakar Tripathi. It was for the first time in the history of the temple city of Varanasi that tension gripped devotees at Sankat Mochan.

First Published: Mar 08, 2006 02:25 IST