The management of the Jagannath temple in Puri is seriously contemplating to tightened the security of the important Hindu shrine following media reports from New Delhi that Indian Mujahideen(IM) operatives were contemplating to trigger blasts during the annual Rath Yatra scheduled to be celebrated in the Odisha temple town late in June.
“Though we have no specific official information on that, we have decided to strengthen the security arrangements in and around the temple on the basis of the media report. We will be consulting different security agencies and experts as well as the state government in this regard,” senior IAS officer and chief administrator of the Puri temple Aurovindo Padhi told media persons here.
Media reports from the national capital had claimed that two IM operatives, Tehsin Akhtar and Waqas, arrested by the Delhi police in March had revealed during interrogation that they were planning to trigger serials blasts during the Rath Yatra which attracts lakhs of devotees from across the country and abroad to Puri every year. The two had even reportedly visited the Odisha temple town as well as state capital Bhubaneswar in connection with their plan.
Director General of Police Prakash Mishra, however, rejected the media report that the Rath Yatra was on the radar of the IM operatives. But, he admitted that a Delhi Police team had recently visited the state in connection with IM’s activities and informed the state police about the two IM members’ trip to the state.
“A Delhi Police team was here to investigate the IM’s activities. They told us about the visit of the two arrested IM operatives to Puri and Bhubaneswar. But the team did not inform us anything,” the top cop said.