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Security up at Tirumala

Special Correspondent
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As a sequel to seizure of explosives at Puttur, arrest of two suspects

Metal detectors being installed on Sunday at Alipiri, the entry point to Tirumala hills, as part of enhanced security measures. — PHOTO: K. V. POORNACHANDRA KUMAR
Metal detectors being installed on Sunday at Alipiri, the entry point to Tirumala hills, as part of enhanced security measures. — PHOTO: K. V. POORNACHANDRA KUMAR

: Hours after two suspects were arrested and a large quantity of explosives seized from a house in Puttur, about 100 km from here, the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) intensified security arrangements at the famous hill shrine. Thousands of people are visiting the hill shrine where a nine-day Brahmotsavam celebration commenced on Saturday.

The TTD’s vigilance and security department launched enhanced surveillance, especially at the entry points leading to Tirumala. Besides the heavily-guarded vehicle toll gate-cum-security check point at Alipiri, additional manpower was deployed in the foot path at Alipiri and Srivari Mettu used by padayatris.

Security personnel used metal detectors to frisk baggages of pilgrims. Police conducted combing operations in and around the hill in view of the visit of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kirankumar Reddy to Tirumala on Saturday.

“The security arrangements will continue till the end of Brahmotsavam”, TTD’s Chief Vigilance and Security Officer G.V.G. Ashok Kumar said.

Mr. Reddy was to have laid the foundation stone for the much-touted outer cordon project, but the programme was called off at the last minute, perhaps owing to the ongoing agitations in the region.

The project aims at providing a shield to Tirumala hills from the disruptive elements planning to reach the Tirumala through the forests.

It would also restrict the number of entry points to eight.

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