Kerala Government Sleep on IB Reports of Security Threat in Guruvayur Temple

published on December 6, 2014

Trissur: The state government is reported to have put up a laidback attitude regarding security concerns in Sree Krishna Temple in Guruvayur, after having ignored an intelligence report submitted by the central secret investigation services. The same is said to be the attitude of Guruvayur Devaswom Board as well.

A thorough search was conducted in the temple by IB officials in 2011. It was also proved by these officials that anyone could make an easy entry into the temple, carrying explosives with them. A report was submitted to the Union government as well. Following this, the central Home Ministry had submitted to the state government, a detailed report of the security measures to be taken, with regard to the temple. The report was handed over to the Chief Secretary and DGP on 8 April 2011. However, it has been 3 years since the report has been submitted with no action taken nor any step implemented.

The report had specified that terror groups in Maldives had on their target list, temples of Kerala, in order to unleash communal tension in the country. It also laid thread bare, the security flaws of the temple. Some of them mount up to being the gravest matter of concern with the temple having no technical measures to detect explosives if brought inside. The sole security check is provided by a metal detector which checks people making an entry. The temple lacks modern facilities that cater to security concerns.

Another matter highlighted by the report from central ministry enforces that temple authorities must acquire land measuring up to 100 metres and construct a fence. However, this has been overlooked by the Devaswom Board, which is planning to do the fencing at a distance of 25 metres from the temple. In case of a bomb threat, a squad has to be deployed from Thrissur. The ratio of security officers to that of the swelling number of pilgrims is very low. And the handful who are stationed there possess inadequate crisis management skills- all this inspite of the report having specifically mentioned that a special squad and team has to be formed for catering solely to security issues. 

Yet another matter of concern is that the lodges and hotels in the vicinity of the temple have absolutely no security checks.

In order to cater to security, all 24 directives specified in the union ministry’s report have to be catered to, along with implementing of stringent security measures- all this, along with the HC directive of acquiring 100 metres of land around the temple.

Other security measures suggested by the report are as follows:

A metal detector has to be placed 25 metres away from the temple entrance, with special entrance gates for temple entry and exit. Since it is possible to swim and reach the temple, the area being used by devotees and priests should be demarcated, with metal fencing raised to five feet. Lodges and hotels in the vicinity should be subject to periodic checks. Modern methods of conducting checks including dog squads should be availed. Armed security personnel should be deployed at temple entrances, along with patrolling around temple area as well. Security officers should also be trained in bomb detection and diffusing. The oottupura (dining hall) and temple kitchen should be away from temple premises. All activities related to security, including recruitment of police officers and Devaswom Board security officers should be done by senior police officers of Dy SP rank. Items for pooja, food items should be permitted to be carried inside only after stringent check. Counters for tickets, prasadam etc should be set up outside temple compound. Separate system should be in vogue to ensure that crowd is dispersed judiciously during ceremonies like choroonu, weddings etc. There should be separate identity cards for police and security personnel. A Quick Reaction Team (QRT) should be deployed to tackle any situation of emergency, along with periodic and systematic assessment of the situation by security officers. 

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