'Cover Ganesha's idol with bulletproof glass'

Following regular threats from terror outfits, and after the recent episode where a drunkard created panic in the city claiming that two Pakistani nationals wanted to plant bombs at Dagdusheth temple, the city police have directed the temple authorities to install bullet proof glass in front of Lord Ganesha’s idol.

Save the idol: Following threats from terror outfits, the police has asked Dagdusheth temple authorities to install bullet proof glass in front of Lord Ganesha’s idol in stead of the plain glass (inset) now. Pics/Krunal Gosavi

Besides, the cops have asked the management to construct strong walls on both sides of the temple to secure the core area of the temple. The security of the temple had become a matter of concern after LeT operative Qateel Siddiqui, who was killed inside Yerawada jail, told Delhi police that they had attempted to plant a bag full of explosives at the temple in 2010, but couldn’t succeed. Since then, the police had increased the security of the temple.

“The glass that is installed in front of the idol is not bullet proof. Thus, to ensure that the sanctum sanatorium is secure from any sabotage attempt, we have directed the temple authorities to replace the normal glass with a bullet proof one. Besides, we have asked them to construct 12 feet high walls on the left and the right side of the temple,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone I) Makarand Ranade.

He added, “As we have taken the responsibility of its safety, we have deployed extra police force to ensure that there’s round-the-clock security of the temple.”

The DCP said that earlier
the temple authorities had employed private security guards to ensure that devotes form a queue while coming for darshan, but now it’s the policemen who’ll take up that work too. When contacted, Ashok Godse, chairman of the Shrimant Dagadusheth Halwai Ganapati Trust, claimed that the glass, which has been installed, is already bulletproof and cops can test it. “Like the police department, we too are also concerned about the security of the temple, and the devotees. Besides, we have been following all the security measures suggested by the police.” he said.

Speaking about constructing wall on both the sides of the temple, he said, “It is not that easy, as one has to take permission from the civic body. Also, if we constructed the without permission, then people would say that the trust has built the wall without any authorisation.”

No VIP entrance
Ranade said that it had been observed that each time a VVIP or VIP paid visit to the temple, he/she was given entrance from a special gate. However, from now on no entry will be allowed from that gate. “After informing the PI of Vishrambaug police station, which is adjacent to the temple, the VVIP/VIP will be taken inside the temple from the regular entrance. However, the VVIP/VIP won’t have to stand in queue and will be directly taken inside the sanctum sanatorium,” he said. 

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