Security beefed up at city churches for Sunday service

With the Home Department in Karnataka sounding high alert across the state, several churches have sent out multiple advisories to devotees and members of the parish regarding masses on Sunday (observed as Divine Mercy Sunday by the Roman Catholic Church).

A week after the Easter blasts in Sri Lanka, several churches across Bengaluru have made elaborate security arrangements for Sunday services.

With the Home Department in Karnataka sounding high alert across the state, several churches have sent out multiple advisories to devotees and members of the parish regarding masses on Sunday (observed as Divine Mercy Sunday by the Roman Catholic Church).

The Bengaluru City Police had issued a security alert in the wake of the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka, and directed religious heads to beef up security and report to police about any suspicious activities on their premises. Following the orders, the churches have streamlined the entry and exit of devotees and general public for masses on Sunday.

Separate gates

St Mark’s Cathedral in the heart of Bengaluru has sent out messages to its congregational members about the security measures. “Three gates have been created for the entry and exit of people. All members have been issued stickers for their vehicles....,” a message said. At some prominent churches, the city police have deployed forces to keep a tab on the movement of public.

The churches have appealed to devotees not to bring any metal objects. Frisking will be done if necessary. Cabs and autos have been banned from entering the premises. Backpacks and large bags are also banned inside the churches. A few churches have also formed volunteer groups to keep a vigil during service hours.

A Presbyter with a prominent church in CBD area told DH that besides the Divine Mercy Sunday mass, special services and prayers are being organised in memory of those who died in Lanka blasts.

A senior police officer attached with the Central Division told DH that they have visited a couple of churches and analysed the security arrangements. “We have directed all churches to install CCTV cameras at all vantage positions. We have tested them for quality of pictures,” he said.

As the Sunday service will draw thousands of devotees, police personnel will constantly patrol those areas.

The police have also asked community members to employ private security guards for frisking and checking vehicles and baggage. The police have also asked the members to be alert and inform about any suspicious activities to the police control room.

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