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Jul 10, 2013 at 08:48am IST

Even after blasts at Mahabodhi temple, security lax at religious places

New Delhi/Mumbai: Three days after terror struck the Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya, no lessons seemed to have been learnt as security arrangements at various important religious places in Delhi and Mumbai continue to remain poor.

A defunct Door Frame Metal Detector and three constables is all that the CNN-IBN's team saw while reviewing security status at the highly sensitive Haji Ali Dargah in Mumbai.

The team carried a steel tiffin box in its bag to see whether policemen deployed at the dargah will stop them from taking it inside. As the CNN-IBN's team approached the Haji Ali Dargah, they first went past a defunct Door Frame Metal Detector but nobody frisked them. A constable pointed to their bag but didn't check it.

After the Door Frame Metal Detector, the team did not see a single policeman, not even at the main entrance to the dargah. They walked up to the inner sanctum of the dargah and planted the bag right outside it but the bag remained unnoticed for over 20 minutes.

The CNN-IBN team also visited the Mahalaxmi Temple and the Siddhivinayak Temple, where they found the security arrangements were quite tight. But at Chaitya Bhoomi - Dr Ambedkar's resting place revered by Dalits and Buddhists - the security arrangements were poor. There was one metal detector at the site but no one to man it.

A review of security at four of the most popular and sensitive religious spots in Mumbai - a city which has not only faced more than a dozen terror attacks, but also some of the country's worst terror attacks - has exposed some shocking loopholes.

The situation arrangement was equally disappointing in Delhi. The Hanuman Mandir, situated in the heart of the national capital, sees the most devotees on Tuesdays. But even on such this high risk day the CNN-IBN team found that security was missing inside the temple.

The CNN-IBN team carried some old clothes and a pressure cooker in a bag but were easily able to enter the temple. The defunct Door Frame Metal Detector made no noise. They were also not frisked at the gate as no policemen were present to check bags or devotees entering the temple. The CNN-IBN team placed a bag in the inner sanctum of the temple but for over 10 minutes it remained unnoticed.

The team later placed the bag near a foodstall but no policemen present in the area paid any attention to it. The iconic Hanuman Mandir is located at Delhi's Connaught Place, which has been a terror target before.

The next destination of the CNN-IBN team was Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib in Old Delhi. the gurdwara is located next to Parliament and Delhi's Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee is also located there.

But the CNN-IBN team got an easy access even there. No metal detectors or policemen stopped or checked them. The team entered the inner chamber of the gurudwara with the bag but even after 20 minutes nobody noticed it.

Even at the Bangla Sahib Gurudwara, located at Connaught Place, the team walked into the gurudwara with the bag and found there are no security checks, metal detectors or policemen to frisk people.

The CNN-IBN team then visited Delhi's famous Jama Masjid, which has been a terror target earlier. With the month of Ramzan just days away, the team was expecting high security at the masjid but even there the policemen didn't bother to check the bag and the team easily entered the shrine.

Over the years, Delhi has witnessed several terror strikes but despite the government issuing an advisory that security arrangements need to be stepped up at all religious places across the country, no actions seem to have been taken.

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