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Siddhivinayak temple: Coconut, garland ban to be lifted

June 28, 2007 20:27 IST

Against the backdrop of criticism, the Maharashtra government on Thursday decided to lift the ban on carrying of coconuts and flower garlands into Siddhivinayak temple in Mumbai after shrine authorities install two frisking machines and put in place additional security measures there.

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil, who is also the home minister, had recently directed joint commissioner of police (law and order) to submit a report on the issue of restrictions imposed at the temple following security threats.

The restrictions, imposed earlier this month, had drawn criticism from various quarters, with Leader of Opposition Ramdas Kadam of the Shiv Sena terming them as "playing with sentiments of devotees."

"We have received the police report, which has recomnended allowing garlands and coconuts into the temple after installation of the two machines," Patil said adding, the equipment would have to be installed by temple authorities.

"They would also be required to depute extra staff for the purpose. We will provide additional police force as required," he told reporters.

Earlier in the day, Patil chaired a meeting with top police officials at the state secretariat and took stock of the law and order situation in the city and the state.

On the spate of robberies in Mumbai and some parts of the state recently, Patil said, "We have come across cases where (shop) employees have been involved, like in a case where the culprit was an employee of the jewellery shop which was robbed."

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