New Delhi, Aug. 11 (PTI): Armed guards have been deployed at Rajghat, Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial, for the first time after years of setting “aside” the security issue in keeping with sentiments tied to his principle of ahimsa (non-violence).
The move came days before the nation celebrates its 67th Independence Day and follows “vital intelligence inputs”. A key factor was last month’s blasts at Bodhgaya’s Mahabodhi Temple, the holiest shrine to Buddhism, sources said.
All other nine memorials near Rajghat, such as Shakti Sthal (Indira Gandhi), Veer Bhumi (Rajeev Gandhi) and Vijay Sthal (Lal Bahadur Shastri), have had armed guards since 2004.
CISF personnel took charge of Rajghat’s security from August 1. “A squad of 24 CISF men and women have been deployed and they are armed,” an official said. The force also guards the other memorials.
The CISF will regulate access to the venue, thronged by VVIPs and common people round the year, along with private guards. A small team will keep watch around the black marble samadhi area.
However, only commandos at the entry gate will carry weapons, including AK-47 and Insas rifles. Those inside and near the samadhi will be unarmed, said a senior official.