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Tech shield for prime UP spots

The Uttar Pradesh police will now rely more on technology than manpower to guard the tourist and religious spots located in various parts of the state. Rajesh Kumar Singh reports.

india Updated: Dec 18, 2010 19:21 IST
Rajesh Kumar Singh
Rajesh Kumar Singh
Hindustan Times

The Uttar Pradesh police will now rely more on technology than manpower to guard the tourist and religious spots located in various parts of the state.

The decision has been taken as terrorists not only penetrated the security cordon to plant a bomb at the old Dashwashmedha ghat at Varanasi, but also melted into the crowd, without leaving any clue for the investigation agencies to track them down.

The UP anti-terrorist squad (ATS), along with the national intelligence agency (NIA) and the intelligence bureau (IB), is investigating the bomb blast. The investigation agencies fear that terrorist groups might target other spots visited by the foreign tourists and pilgrims. A meeting of the senior police officers was held on Thursday to discuss the strengthening of security in various cities.

"We have decided to use modern gadgets and technology to guard the tourist and religious spots. A report on it would be dispatched to the state government for the implementation of the new security plan within a day or two," director general of police Karamveer Singh told HT on Thursday.

The state police have decided to bring the tourists and religious spots under CCTV surveillance; to install metal detectors, doors and hand held detectors to frisk the visitors. Usually, the police deploy sniffer dog squads to detect the explosives and chemicals used by the terrorists. Now, the police department has decided to install infrared and heat sensors at various spots to detect the explosives. "The CCTVs will help us to monitor the movement of the people and those moving in suspicious circumstances," a police officer said and added since a CCTV was not installed at Dashwashmedha ghat, the cops have to rely on video footage shot by the tourists or pilgrims to get the picture of activities at the ghat before the blast.

"The terrorist must have done a recce before carrying out the blast. Their modules must have visited the ghat several times to carry out a rehearsal before planting the bomb. If a CCTV camera had been there, we would have easily traced him," he said.

The state police would also use electronic surveillance to keep tabs on the conversation between the modules of terrorist groups and their handlers in Pakistan or the Gulf countries. The investigation agencies feel that terrorists who have escaped from the country might have masterminded the bomb blast from the foreign soil.

The investigation agency is screening the phone calls made to foreign countries, particularly the Gulf, Pakistan and West Asia, from Varanasi or the neighbouring district after the bomb blast. Chief minister Mayawati has directed the police department to prepare a new plan for the security of the religious and tourist spots. The state police have already beefed up security in Varanasi, Allahabad, Mathura and Gorakhpur.

First Published: Dec 18, 2010 19:18 IST