Special Correspondent

Coconuts, big garlands banned in Siddhivinayaka temple

MUMBAI: After the World Trade Centre in Mumbai's posh Cuffe Parade area received another terrorist threat, this time by email, the management of the famous Siddhivinayaka temple in the city's congested Prabha Devi has forbidden devotees from bringing coconuts and big garlands from Sunday.

Executive officer of the temple H.B. Jagtap urged the people to cooperate for the security of the temple and the devotees. He pointed out that it was difficult for the security staff and police to thoroughly check every person entering with pooja tray or basket of flowers.

Thousands of people visit the temple daily. The number is many times more on Tuesdays, considered auspicious to worship Siddhivinayaka. People form long queues before the temple from early morning.

On hit list

The temple is on the terrorists' hit list and the police fear that explosives and weapons hidden in garlands and coconuts could be smuggled in. Mr. Jagtap issued the appeal after getting a letter from the Dadar police station. The temple is already under heavy security.

The security staff of World Trade Centre, which houses offices of prestigious corporate houses, received the email threatening to blow up its twin towers on Saturday evening.

$10 million claimed

The mailer, who claimed to be a Nigerian, demanded $10 million protection money.

This is the second threat to the WTC in a month. Earlier, an anonymous letter posted to the WTC had threatened to destroy the twin towers.