About 7,000 police personnel mobilized in Pashupatinath Area
KATHMANDU, Feb 24: In view of the Maha Shivaratri today, security around the Pashupatinath Temple, the most important pilgrim site for celebrating the festival, has been tightened tenfold to prevent any potential mishap and crime from happening, the authorities said.
Some 6,800 police personnel - 4,000 from Nepal Police and 2,800 from Armed Police Force (APF) - have been mobilized in the Pashupatinath area to ensure security during the festival, according to Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Nawaraj Karki of Gaushala Police Station. "Elaborate security arrangements have been made in view of the festival. More police personnel can be mobilized if needed," said DSP Karki.
"We have one command post under the leadership of a Superintendent of Police. And we also have set up 11sub-command posts at various places in the Pashupati area. The main job of the sub-command posts is to control criminal activities," he added. The sub-command posts came into operation from 10 am Thursday and will continue their duties till 10 am Saturday, he informed Republica.
According to Pashupati Area Development Trust (PADT), entrances to the temple have been opened from three sides - north, west and south. There is also an entrance designated for the VIPs. PADT also claimed that all the preparations for Shivaratri celebrations have already been completed.
In order to make it easier for the pilgrims to visit the sacred Hindu temple, the pass system that was previously in practice has been revoked this time. "The removal of the pass system is a good thing. Before, pilgrims had to take pass from PADT to enter the temple, which used to take 9-10 hours. But now, with the removal of the pass system, the duration has been shortened to just 1-2 hours," said DSP Karki.
According to Gaushala Police Station, policemen will be deployed at various points of the temple area for crowd management. PADT expects about 1.3 million domestic and foreign pilgrims to visit the temple during Shivaratri this year.
"This year, not even a single criminal activity took place during the Teej festival in the Pashupati area. We'll aim to keep up the same success during Shivaratri as well. Our efforts will be not to let even a single criminal incident take place," said DSP Karki.