Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Police today said that two operatives of Indian Mujahideen had visited the state capital of Bhubaneswar and Puri town in January this year though their motives were not clear.
Police sources said the IM operatives visited the state twice in January this year and stayed in separate hotels here.
“Two IM operatives had visited Bhubaneswar and Puri. A team of Delhi Police had brought the two (Tehsin Akhtar and Waqas) to Bhubaneswar and Puri to trail their possible links in the state,” Director General of Police (DGP) Prakash Mishra told reporters after attending a high level meeting presided over by Chief Secretary J K Mohapatra.
Replying to a question, the DGP said, “The motive of their visit is not clear. The interrogation of the two IM operatives by the Delhi police also did not reveal about their plan of possible attack on Puri.”
He was asked if the IM operatives had plans for sabotage during the annual rath yatra to be held on June 29 this year.
Stating that the state police was prepared to meet any eventuality, Mishra said, “We have constant vigil on the Puri temple. We have strengthened intelligence also.”
The Chief Secretary appealed to the media not to publish sensational news on a possible terrorist attack on the Puri temple.
Meanwhile, Shankaracharya of Govardhan Peeth, Puri, Swami Nischalananda Saraswati asked both the Centre and the state government to ensure foolproof security to the Sri Jagannath Temple and devotees visiting the 12th century shrine.
“After the state government took the management of Sri Jagannth Temple as per a special Act, it is the responsibility of both the Centre as well as the state to ensure total security. Sri Jagannth Temple is most important ‘Dham’ of crores of Hindus across the globe,” Saraswati said in a statement.
Saraswati, who is also head of the Sri Jagannath Temple Mukti Mandap Sabha, the apex body of pundits that take final decision of the rituals followed in the temple, said the state government had never sought his advice on the matter of security for the 12th century shrine.
“I am worried over the manner in which the security arrangement is made in the temple,” Shankaracharya said.
Gajapati king of Puri, Divya Singha Deb, the president of the Sri Jagannath Temple Management, said, “The state government has all apparatus to provide foolproof security to the Temple. They should leave no stone unturned.”
Puri SP Anup Kumar Sahoo said, “We have increased security of the temple. All persons entering are being checked at the main gate.”