Lucknow: A high alert has been sounded across Uttar Pradesh particularly around places of worship while a team of the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) of the Uttar Pradesh Police has been sent to BodhGaya in the wake of the Sunday morning blasts there. Surveillance and individual frisking has been enhanced at railway and bus stations while extra attention is being paid to the movement on the UP-Nepal border.
Additional Director General of Police (ATS) Arun Kumar said a team had been dispatched to Bodh Gaya for a first-hand account of the modus operandi of those who triggered the blasts. The team will also inspect the manner in which security was breached and any other highlight of the incident with regards to the nature of explosives used, appearance of the suspects and other characteristics related to the serial blasts.
“The reason behind sending our team is to get specifics of the entire incident so that we could verify at our end if all required arrangements are in place in UP to ensure that such a strike did not take place here. There may be some new aspects of the terror strike and if there are, then it becomes all the more important for our ATS to be aware of it first hand,” Arun Kumar said. Sending the ATS team was an initiative of the UP government for our state’s interest and the Bihar police had neither asked for our help nor is our team likely to be part of any of the investigation modules related to the blasts, said Arun Kumar.
Asked if Uttar Pradesh Police too had received any intelligence report on a possible terror strike in the state like central intelligence and National Investigating Agency (NIA) claim to have provided to Bihar some months back, Arun Kumar refused to cite any specific instances. “We get inputs from a number of agencies and each and every specific tip-off is taken to a logical conclusion,” said Arun.
High alert, checking drives in Varanasi after Bodh Gaya blasts
With the sounding of high alert after serial blasts at Mahabodhi temple complex in Bodh Gaya, checking drives were carried out by the police in different parts of the city, including Sarnath on Sunday.
IG GL Meena said that high alert was sounded in Varanasi zone while DIGs of Varanasi and Mirzapur ranges and SSP Varanasi were instructed to ensure that standard operating procedure (SOP) prepared for all the highly sensitive sites are in place.
Forces deployed at the shrines like Kashi Vishwanath Gyanvapi complex, ghats along Ganga, Cantonment railway station and also at Sarnath were instructed to increase vigilance, Meena added.
The effects of high alert were evident mainly at Sarnath where SP city Rahul Raj along with heavy police force, bomb disposal and dog squads reached to launch a checking drive. Mahabodhi temple, Moolgandha Kuti Vihar, sites of Archeological Survey of India, Buddhist temples and monasteries were covered during the drive.
Despite the provision of permanent deployment of one head constable and four constables of armed police in the SOP, the cops remain visible at this site rarely, complained local monks. Raj instructed the Sarnath cops not to relax security arrangements.
Checking drives were also visible at Cantonment railway station and ghats along Ganga where terrorist blasts had taken place in past years.