Visitors not allowed to carry cameras, bags inside

Security arrangements were tightened at Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple here from Monday following the twin blasts in Hyderabad. The elaborate security arrangements had devotees fuming over not being allowed to take their bags and mobile phones inside the temple.

Cameras, mobile phones and bags were barred from being taken inside the temple and owing to lack of locker facility, the devotees had to leave them at the baggage counter. “Because there is no cloak room or locker facility in the vicinity of the temple, we had to leave our belongings in the baggage counter. We were disappointed on not being allowed to take cameras inside the temple because this is our maiden visit to the famous temple and we wanted to take photographs,” said Sudipta, a woman from New Delhi.

A large number of police personnel have been deployed at the entrance to the temple and inside the temple complex. Devotees are not allowed entry through the eastern entrance. There is a posse of police personnel on the temple peripheries as well to monitor the movement of public. “This is to ensure that nothing untoward happens,” a police officer said.

Armed police personnel were on guard at the entrance to the temple, considered one of the sensitive places in the city. Specially installed watch towers are also there with armed guards. CCTV cameras have also been installed around the temple. Sniffer dogs are taken around the temple to detect explosives periodically. This apart, the police personnel keep a close watch on movement of devotees inside the temple with the help of 32 CCTV cameras.

After a specific alert was sounded by Central security agencies, the Madurai City Police have reviewed the situation and augmented the police strength, a senior police official said.

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