Bishop of Pune asks police to act on protection for churches in city
Two weeks after 257 people were killed in suicide bombings across three churches and four hotels in Sri Lanka, churches in Pune are now demanding security measures be put in place by the city police.
Reverend Fr Thomas Dabre, Bishop of Pune, confirmed a meeting with Pune police commissioner K Venkatesham to ask for protection for all churches in the city. “We met Pune police commissioner K Venkatesham and shared that they should be proactive in providing protection to all churches. They have acknowledged our request and will let us know what needs to be done,” said Bishop Dabre.
Commissioner Venkatesham said that police have already been tasked with additional protection.
“We have suggested that close circuit television cameras (CCTV) be put up. We have also asked them (churches) to keep a lookout for strangers on their premises. We have also taken measures to enhance security from our end,” said Venkatesham.
When asked if he has passed a circular on his behalf for security at churches in the city, he said, “It has to be done in a professional and credible way. I have been receiving suggestions from people, and I plan to consolidate a circular by the end of the week.”
In Mumbai, Nigel Barrett, spokesperson of the Archdiocese of Bombay – the apex body for Roman Catholic churches there, said that they are planning to restrict vehicle parking to 40 feet away from the church. “There will also be a prohibition on haversacks and large bags being allowed inside the church premises,” Barrett said.