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Govt forms panel to review security at religious places

PANAJI: Following a direction from the ministry of home affairs (MHA), the state government constituted a state-level security committee responsible for reviewing the security plan of all religious places and other places of importance. The committee would be headed by the director general of police (DGP) or the inspector general of police (IGP) and have the superintendent of police (security) and both district superintendents of police, as members.

The committee will review the existing security deployment, type of security deployed, access control system, lighting arrangement, fire fighting equipment, etc. A home department official said, "The objective of this committee is to draw up a plan for the security of places of religious importance."

The police will prepare a detailed report of each temple, church, mosque and place of iconic importance and submit it to the MHA. The central order follows the recent attack on the Bodh Gaya temple in Bihar.

Speaking to TOI, Basilica of Bom Jesus rector Fr Savio Barreto said that security at specific churches has not been taken seriously by the state government. "We have been asking the police department to evaluate the threat perception at churches and to accordingly make adequate security arrangements," Barreto said.

Mangesh Devasthan secretary Bhalchandra Sinai Priolker said that the committee has decided to write a letter to the state government seeking police security at temples to screen devotees' bags. "The government should take the issue of security at temples seriously," he added.

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