Religious authorities told to follow security advisory

| November 29, 2010

PANAJI: Following a robbery in the Chandranath Bhutnath temple at Paroda in Quepem on Tuesday night, in which culprits escaped with gold and silver ornaments worth about Rs 18 lakh, police have urged temple and church authorities to follow the security advisory issued by them in July.

The police have now asked temple and church authorities to keep gold and silver ornaments and valuables in bank lockers.

And, if the ornaments do not fit into the bank locker, they have been recommended to install a heavy safe with a good lock in a room with multiple locking systems within the temple premises.

On Tuesday night, robbers entered the temple after removing the roof tiles. "They then used the temple's koita to remove a part of the silver sheet coated on the palki, silver and gold sheet on the deity and the silver sheet that was coated on the main gate of the temple.

"The robbers knew the topography of the place. And we suspect that its the same gang that has committed temple thefts in Karwar and Ponda, as the modus operandi is similar," said police sources.

Police said that the security advisory for places of worship was recently issued to curb incidents of robbery and desecration in the places of worship.

"We had in July issued a security advisory to all places of worship in North Goa. But so far only 10 places of worship have installed CCTVs and constructed a strong room with multiple locking system to keep their valuables. After the incident in Quepem, we are now not wanting to take any chances and are insisting that they absolutely follow the advisory issued by us," said SP (North) Arvind Gawas.

This comes amidst the belief that the theft in Quepem could have been averted if temple authorities had strictly followed the police security advisory.

Though SP (South) Allen D'Sa refused to comment on this, he admitted, "Despite the SDPOs asking many of them to take adequate precautions to prevent such incidents, many of them have failed to follow the security measures that were recommended by us."

The police security advisory states that private security guards should be deployed at least during the night time and that they should be provided with a torch, lathi and a register which is to be signed by the police on patrol duty, after checking the alertness of security guard.

Authorities have been asked to install CCTV cameras in places of worship, having storage capacity of at least 30 days.

'The donation box should be cleared on a daily basis and if there is no daily clearance of cash, then donation box should be fixed to the floor on concrete platform with safe locking system,' the advisory stated.

Also, the police have recommended that in case the religious institutions are unable to employ any security personnel from a registered security agency due to financial constraints, then they should furnish the names of at least two able bodied persons from the locality who are willing to perform security duty during the night and the police will then try to give them an honorarium by writing to the government.

Read more: Religious authorities told to follow security advisory – The Times of India

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Category: Church Security

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