Several chain-snatching incidents reported
Concerns over the security provided to Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in the State capital were raised in the Assembly on Tuesday in the wake of several chain-snatching incidents in the precincts of the temple where huge treasures were recently found stored in subterranean chambers.
The security concerns were brought to the notice of the House by the former Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishan who intervened during a short-notice question raised by Palode Ravi.
Mr. Balakrishnan said the media had reported that four chain-snatching incidents had occurred within 12 hours near the temple premises on Monday.
The government said it had provided adequate security to the temple but the security was appallingly bad, he said. Mr. Balakrishnan asked whether the security zone as announced by the government had come into effect.
Minister for Devaswom and Transport V.S. Sivakumar said elaborate security arrangements had been provided at the temple. A team of officials led by Additional Director-General of Police Venugopal K. Nair had been entrusted with the task. A committee headed by Mr. Nair and comprising the ADGP (Intelligence), IGP (Intelligence) and IGP (South Zone) had been asked to submit a detailed report to the government on providing fool-proof security cover to the temple.
Mr. Sivakumar said the examination of the temple vaults by a Supreme Court-appointed committee had not been completed. The Chief Minister had made it clear that the temple's security would be the responsibility of the State. The State was willing to meet all the financial commitments for that.
He said the State police had deployed 53 policemen inside the temple in three shifts and another 74 outside, also in three shifts. A 24-hour control room had been set up at adjacent to the Fort police station. A 10-member telecommunication wing had also been set up.
Earlier, Mr. Ravi urged the State government to request the Union government to declare the temple a national pilgrimage centre. He also urged the State to ask the Centre to provide the services of military personnel for the temple security.