As the nation celebrates Shivratri, several states including Uttar Pradesh were put on high alert following inputs from the Intelligence Bureau (IB) on the possibility of terror attacks at temples and religious places, an official said ..
Heavy security was put into force at important Shiv temples and special security checks were in place at the Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi.
Special vigil was being maintained on big and small temples in places like Kanpur, Agra, Lucknow, Faizabad, Gorakhpur, Azamgarh and other important places, the official said.
Police was also keeping a close eye on the ‘kanwarias’ (devotees who carry holy Ganges water and walk bare foot to offer it to Shivlinga’s) as there was an apprehension that they may be targeted by terror outfits.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended his greetings to the people on Maha Shivratri. “Maha Shivratri greetings to everyone,” Modi tweeted.
Maha Shivratri, celebrated annually in reverence of Lord Shiva, falls on the 13th night and 14th day of Phalguna month or Maagh as per Hindu almanac.
Thousands of people offered prayers at various temples across Punjab and Haryana on Monday to mark Maha Shivratri amid tight security arrangements.
In view of intelligence reports of the possibility of a terror strike on this festive occasion, tight security arrangements could be noticed around temples at various places.
Lord Shiva temples were specially decorated for the occasion as people began thronging these places since Sunday night.
At the Shiv Temple at Saketri in Haryana’s Panchkula town, adjoining Chandigarh, hundreds of devotees queued up to offer prayers.
“So many people have come here to offer prayers. Many of them have walked several kilometres to reach here. Along the way, we saw many groups walking and others singing devotional songs and dancing,” Sonali Thakur, a devotee, said.
People thronged temples in Amritsar, Ludhiana, Patiala, Jalandhar and other places in Punjab and in Ambala, Hisar, Karnal, Panipat and Kurukshetra in Haryana. ( IANS)