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Temple security beefed up

Dumka, July 16: Senior police officers of Bhagalpur, Munger, Banka (in Bihar), Dumka and Deoghar held a meeting at the Circuit House in Deoghar today to review security arrangements for the month-long Shravani Mela beginning on July 22.

The officers discussed steps to ensure foolproof vigil around the Baidyanath Dham as well as along the 100km stretch between Sultanganj in Bihar and Deoghar in Jharkhand. Pilgrims follow this route during the mela season.

The main emphasis was on ways to improve co-ordination among the state police and security agencies to avert any attempt of anti-social elements or extremists to create disturbance during the festive month.

“In view of the recent bomb blasts in Bodhgaya, we are taking extra measures so as to thwart any such attempts of terrorists to strike during the Shravani Mela when lakhs of pilgrims come here,” Deoghar SP Prabhat Kumar told The Telegraph.

Though security of the Baidyanath Dham was beefed up in the aftermath of Bodhgaya blasts, additional measures are being taken to tight vigil at the temple. Kumar said metal detectors and CCTV cameras were being installed at strategic points in and around the temple.

He further said proper security arrangements would be ensured all along the 100km stretch between Sultanganj and Deoghar by the respective police stations of the two states.

Notably, around 50 lakh kanwarias — as pilgrims coming here are commonly referred to — cover the entire 100km stretch on foot. They carry gangajal collected from the Ganga River in Sultanganj to pour on the Shivalingam at and other deities the temple.

It’s a real challenge for police to handle lakhs of pilgrims arriving here through out the month.

Also, the officers discussed at length how to curb Maoist activities along the bordering areas of Bihar and Jharkhand. The areas under security scanner are Banka, Jamui and Bhagalpur districts of Bihar and Deoghar, Dumka districts of Jharkhand.

“Joint operations will be carried out by the bordering districts to wash out rebels from these areas,” Kumar added.

Among others who attended the meeting were Dumka DIG Priya Dubey, Deoghar SP Prabhat Kumar and his counterparts from Banka, Munger, Bhagalpur and Jamui districts of Bihar.