Thousands of devotees throng Haridwar seeking salvation by holy dip in Ganges

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Haridwar, Jan.14 (ANI): Hundreds of thousands of Hindus braved icy winds on Thursday to take holy dip in River Ganges on the first day of Kumbh Mela, the religious fair that occurs once in 12 years, in Haridwar.

The holy dip during iIt is said taking a holy dip in Ganges enable people to cleanse them of their sins.

Tight security arrangements have been put in place to prevent any untoward incident. Snipers, riot police and plain clothes keeping a close watch to help prevent potential militant attacks, stampedes and petty crime.

Anand Vardhan, official in-charge of the Kumbh Mela arrangements, said they were watching the visitors from the moment they entered the town's boundaries until the time they left.

"We have different levels of checking, frisking randomly, and (we are) keeping an eye open. We have different watchers, spotters, who are keeping a close watch on everyone. We have more than 120 CCTV cameras from which we get input directly into our Fair control room which is seen and monitored 24 hours a day."

Officials said by noon, about 250,000 people took the holy dip at Har-ki-Pauri, the main bathing area which has stepped banks on either side of the Ganges River. (ANI)

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