The Centre will examine the issue of handing over security of religious places like Bodh Gaya to CISF, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said today. Addressing a press conference here after visiting the Mahabodhi Temple along with Congress President Sonia Gandhi, he said that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has pleaded for CISF takeover of the temple complex for better security.
"There are also requests for CISF cover for the Shirdi Sai Temple and the Jama Masjid. We will examine and take a call on the issue," he said. He, however, appeared to suggest that it was difficult to fulfil the demand for all religious structures, saying that "many complexes are vulnerable".
Shinde and the Congress President were briefed about the sequence of terror attack in the temple town by the Bodh Gaya Temple Management Committee (BTMC) member secretary N. Dorje. The leaders also offered prayers in the Mahabodhi Temple and lit candles.
Earlier, a group of people protested against the visit of the Congress president and the Union Home Minister outside the Mahabodhi Temple gate. The protesters raised slogans against them for visiting the temple town three days after the blasts. Gandhi and others also visited the hospital where the two monks injured in the blasts are being treated.
The Union Minister and the Congress president later held a review meeting with Home Secretary Anil Goswami, CISF Spl. DG Arun Chaddha, NIA DG N R Wasan, Bihar DGP Abhayanand and Chief Minister Nitish KumarŅs representative Bijrendra Prasad Yadav, who is the Energy and Parliamentary Affairs minister in the JD(U) government. Earlier, BJP leader Syed Shahanwaz Hussain made an unscheduled visit to the temple town but he and other BJP leaders were not allowed to proceed beyond the reception of the Mahabodhi Temple.
Criticising the Congress president and the Home Minister for visiting the temple town on "terror tourism", he said the Centre should provide adequate security arrangements to the world famous Buddhist shrine. The BJP leader also criticised Shinde for visiting the temple town three days after the serial blasts rocked the town.