Vrindavan, 26.12.17 (VT) In a scuffle with temple security, a gun was pulled in Banke Bihari temple, causing panic to break out. The incident happened at around 11.30am on Sunday, at gate number 3. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured, but devotees have been left shocked by the knowledge that people are carrying weapons into the temple.
The scuffle, which was caught on CCTV, broke out when a female security guard asked a visitor not to not stand at the gate. Kusum Sharma was standing at the gate while her relatives went inside the temple. Security guard, Rita Tiwari asked her to move along with the crowds.
It is alleged that Kusum started hitting Rita and that, when Kusum’s relatives reached the gate, they also started attacking the female guard. Two male security guards came to Rita’s assistance and TC Sharma pulled a pistol, which he is licensed to carry.
Police arrived at the scene and questioned everyone involved in the incident. The female security guard and two male guards received minor injuries in the altercation. Kusum told police that the guard tried to snatch her purse and mobile.
A series of incidents in and around Bihariji temple has led to calls for tightened security. In one incident earlier this year, Banke Bihari’s Rohit Goswami was attacked at gunpoint in front of the temple. Temple security also came under question when a letter warning of a planned attack on Janmastami was received by temple authorities.
Sri Krishna Janma Bhoomi has tight security, including metal detectors, and bag checking. Until now, most of the funding for temple security has been arranged by the temple management. There are a few police officers are posted in the temple and the number of officers is set to increase when the UP Governments new Tourist police unit becomes fully operational.
There has been much talk about extending darshan timings as a way of increasing crowd control, however, this incident shows that crowd control is will only be possible with improved infrastructure and increased security.