SL blasts aftermath: Security tightened around churches

Elaborate security arrangements were in place at St Mark’s Cathedral on MG Road. While a pink Hoysala vehicle was stationed near the St Mark’s Road entrance, the MG Road entrance was closed.

Sunday church services took place in the city amid heavy security presence a week after the Easter blasts in Sri Lanka.

People attending mass welcomed the measure by the home department to provide security cover to a few city churches, while some of them were taken aback by the police presence.

The state government had assured citizens that security will be provided to religious institutions to ensure their safety.

Security was deployed at St Mary’s Basilica, Infant Jesus and Holy Trinity churches. Extensive security measures were in place at St Mark’s Cathedral. But there was no police security at St Patrick’s, East Parade Church and other churches in the city.

All churches deployed private security guards to manage the crowd who kept a watch on people entering the church premises. Some churches erected barricades to restrict the vehicles for a better vigil.

A pink Hoysala vehicle was present on the premises between the entry and exit gates of the Infant Jesus Church in Viveknagar, from where the police watched visitors on both sides. But no one watched the entry and exit points at the street. The narrow two-way lane made life difficult for many, but citizens pitched in by managing traffic.

At St Mary’s Basilica in Shivajinagar, the traffic police managed the vehicular movement in the area, while private guards managed the crowd inside the church.

Elaborate security arrangements were in place at St Mark’s Cathedral on MG Road. While a pink Hoysala vehicle was stationed near the St Mark’s Road entrance, the MG Road entrance was closed.

Traffic police officials were also deployed near the Lavelle Road entrance, even as police officials took care of security inside the premises. Private security guards checked visitors with metal detectors.

A police outpost was put up at the Holy Trinity Church to station law and order and traffic policemen. Private security guards deployed by the church management checked vehicles from behind the barricades erected to restrict movement.

City Police Commissioner T Suneel Kumar told DH that security was provided at all places, adding that malls and hotels have been asked to keep a watch. As for establishments hiring private security guards, Kumar said they have been asked to deploy them if they could afford to, failing which the police department will help.

With reiteration of the Karnataka Public Safety act, 2017, all establishments getting a footfall of over 500 people per day should have CCTV cameras and metal detectors. The police will be stationed at all places. It’s a continuous process, Kumar added.

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