GAYA: ADG (law and order) Alok Raj reviewed the security arrangements at Mahabodhi Temple on Tuesday. According to Magadh range DIG Vinay Kumar, the ADG’s visit was a preliminary exercise and a high- level meet will be held in Patna on June 25 over shrine security.
Though details of the review done by the ADG were not made public, sources claimed that he identified the shortcomings in the security arrangements and issued instructions to plug the loopholes and ensure full-proof security of the shrine.
It may be mentioned here that the Mahabodhi Temple has twice been targeted by the terrorists, first on July 7, 2013 and again on January 19 this year. Meanwhile, sources claimed that the proposal to hand over shrine security to the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) appears to have been shelved on account of the high cost factor.
CISF provides security only on payment basis and Rs18-20 crore per annum is required for the nearly 150 CISF personnel of different ranks needed for shrine security. Bodh Gaya Temple Management Committee (BTMC) sources claimed that it does not have the resources to foot the bill as it runs only on donations.
As of now the shrine security is maintained by the Bihar Military Police (BMP). Unlike the CISF, BMP is not specially trained in maintaining the security of high risk installations and premises. There is also a proposal to impart special training to BMP personnel to equip them with the technique to provide security to vulnerable areas. Following the terrorist attack, surveillance level of the shrine and adjoining areas has been enhanced and high definition CCTV cameras have been strategically placed. As part of the security measures, all visitors are made to pass through door frame metal detectors. Body search of the visitors is also conducted.