Security tightened at temples in the wake of twin blasts in the city
Amid tight security, Maha Sivaratri was celebrated with fervour on Sunday, with devotees thronging Shiva temples in large numbers in the twin cities and its environs. In the wake of the Dilsukhnagar blasts, police had enhanced security in temples to ensure the smooth conduct of the event.
Serpentine queues were seen at Shiva temples at Keesara, Shankar Mutt at Vidyanagar, Sri Ganesh Temple in Secunderabad, Sri Subramanyneswara Swamy Temple at West Marredpally and other popular shrines.
The devout observed fast and attended ‘abhisekhams’. Bhajans and discourses were also held in the night enabling devotees to stay awake till morning as part of Sivaratri ‘jagaran’.
There were heated arguments between devotees and temple authorities over the delay in arranging ‘darshan’ at several temples. Many complained of temple officials giving preference to VIPs and politicians while ignoring those standing in long queues for hours.
Following instructions from police, security was tightened at temples.
Door-frame metal detectors were installed at the main entrances of temples, and devotees were allowed inside after thorough frisking. Barricades were placed in lanes connecting temples to prevent vehicle parking, and special police pickets were also posted to prevent any untoward incident.
At Keesara, the Cyberabad Police installed surveillance cameras to keep a constant vigil on those moving suspiciously.
Police also permitted theatre owners to screen late night shows for the convenience of those observing ‘jagaran’. Initially, police had denied permission for screening such shows in view of the twin blasts.
APSRTC too operated additional services to Keesara from various parts of the city.
Vendors selling fruit made brisk business till Sunday evening as devotees broke their fast with fruit. Demand for water melons, grapes, bananas and dates went up significantly on Sunday, and taking advantage of the situation, vendors drastically hiked prices.