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Home > News > Report

Security to be stepped up at Hyderabad's Mecca Masjid

Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad | May 24, 2007 00:07 IST

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The Andhra Pradesh government has decided to put several security measures in place at the historic Mecca Masjid even as the Special investigation Unit has formally begun its probe into last Friday's bomb explosion.

Minorities Welfare Minister Mohammed Ali Shabbir held a review with the officials of Minorities Welfare and Archaeology departments on the steps to be to taken at the mosque in the wake of the blast.

"We will decide on appointment of security guards, training of volunteers, increasing the height of the compound wall and setting up metal detectors after holding discussions with religious leaders and police officers.

Arrangements will be made for keeping the belongings and foot wear of the people visiting the mosque," Shabbir said and added that two security guards would be posted at the mosque immediately.

He also announced that the government would build a new marble and granite chabutra (platform) in place of the one that got damaged in the bomb explosion at the mosque. He said that the Minorities Welfare department has sanctioned Rs 30 lakh for setting up water facility and construction of another gate at the mosque.

Archaeology Director J Kedareswari said that a proposal has been sent to the Government of India seeking Rs one crore for preservation and renovation of Mecca Masjid and Charminar.

Meanwhile, the state and city police reassessed the security threat perception and discussed measures to check recurrence of similar incidents. Deputy Commissioner of Police South Zone M Kanta Rao said that the security of Mecca Masjid would be revamped.

The security measures would be in place round-the-clock and not just for the Friday prayers, which are well attended.

As part of the security revamp plan, the police authorities have decided to install closed-circuit TV cameras at 20 points within the mosque premises to keep a tab on the movement of suspicious persons.

There will be arrangements for video graphing of the people going into the mosque and coming out. Two doorframe metal detectors will also be installed at the mosque's main gate to conduct security checks.

Currently, only one doorframe metal detector is being used. The second one will be used in case of heavy rush.

Every Friday, during the noon prayers, policemen in plainclothes mingle with the namazis while keeping a general check on the people. Now, the number of Muslim police personnel who go into the mosque during Friday prayers will be increased.