The State Government on Friday asked the police to prepare a comprehensive plan for strengthening security arrangements at places of religious importance and holy destinations within a month.
A decision to this effect was taken at the meeting of the state-level security committee presided over by Chief Secretary Bijay Kumar Patnaik here.
Official sources said about 42 temples, mosques, churches and other important tourist destinations of the State have been enlisted under this plan. These include the Jagannath Temple, Puri, the Lingaraj Temple, Bhubaneswar, Sun Temple at Konark, Nilamadhaba Temple, Kantilo, Samaleswari Temple, Sambalpur, Tarini Temple, Ghatgaon, Bhagabati Temple, Banapur, Chandi Mandir, Cuttack , Kapilash Temple, Dhenkanal, Harisankar Temple in Balangir district, Iskcon Temple, Bhubaneswar, the Mosque at old station road in Rourkela, Baptist Church, Cuttack, Mosque at Nala Road Rourkela, Kadam Rasool, Cuttack, Church at Cantonment Road, Cuttack, Catholic Church, Rourkela, Catholic and Baptist Churches in Phulbani, Old Gurudwaras at Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Rourkela, Taratarini Temple in Ganjam and Akhandalamani Temple at Aradi of Bhadrak district.
While security at the Jagannath Temple in Puri has been augmented with the upgradation of the temple outpost to a police station with total sanctioned strength of 264 personnel, similar steps will be initiated at other places. It has been decided that regular and thorough checking of bags and articles of visitors will be made at the entry gates of the Temple.
The Chief Secretary has directed the police to have a contingency plan for every temple to be followed up daily with security drills. Patnaik has asked the police to inspect the Jagannath Temple every night before the temple gates close and clear the premises of unauthorised persons. It has also been decided to remove encroachments around Meghanad Pacheri of the Puri Temple and northern side of Lingaraj Temple.
The committee also resolved to increase the police strength deployed for the security of Lingaraj Temple. One fire service vehicle will be stationed inside the police station campus in front of Lingaraj Temple to cater to emergency requirements.
Principal secretary in the Home Department UN Behera, Director General of Police Prakash Mishra, Secretary in the Works Department Subhendu Roy and senior officials attended the meeting.