Tirupati-like security for 7 Himachal temples on cards

The Himachal Pradesh police are preparing standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the security of temples, which witness a huge rush of pilgrims, to check theft of ancient idols and other valuable items, besides maintaining law and order.

The police are preparing security plans for peak and lean seasons. The SPs of various districts have been directed to designate SHOs of the areas concerned as temple security officers, said DGP Sanjay Kundu.

He said that 351 CCTV cameras and 34 door-frame metal detectors and hand-held metal detectors had been installed on the premises of Mata Chintpurni Temple, Bajreshwari Devi Temple, Chamunda Devi Temple, Naina Devi Temple, Jwalaji Temple, Baba Balak Nath Temple and Mata Bala Sundari Temple, Trilokpur, for surveillance, better management of crowd and traffic and foolproof security of the temples.

The DGP said, “Modern techniques are being used to maintain law and order. A large number of pilgrims visit temples during fairs and at weekends. The CCTV camera surveillance system will be beneficial in managing rush and keeping a check on anti-social elements.”

During fairs and festivals, the temple premises were divided into sectors and additional forces, including reserves of police personnel and Home Guard jawans, were deployed there. Nakas were strengthened during Navratri fairs and security arrangements were reviewed from time to time, police sources said.

“We have also written to Deputy Commissioners for the installation of more cameras on the temple premises and in surrounding areas. The project will be funded by temple trusts,” said the DGP.

The idea is to replicate practices, including security systems, protocols and technologies, being used by the Tirumala Tirupati Devsthanam in Andhra Pradesh, in the state temples.
Besides a large number of ancient temples and five ‘Shaktipeeths’, Himachal is also home to the Dalai Lama and Buddhist monasteries at Tabo and Key.