Security tightened at Kumbh Mela after Pune blast

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Haridwar, Feb 15 (ANI): Security has been tightened at Kumbh Mela following the deadly bomb blast in Pune.

Kailash Keswani, District President of the Business Forum of Haridwar, said the heightened safety measures were essential as the city is a holy place.

"Like the Catholics have Vatican City and the Muslims have Mecca, for Hindus the holy place is Haridwar. I think the three are very sensitive locations and individuals who have bad intentions will target these places," said Keswani.

Devotees said the extra security measures have not dampened their spirits.

"The police officers on duty here have seen us coming and going, they know our faces but they still check us every time, which is a good thing even though they recognise us,' said Swami Raghavendranand, a priest.

The Kumbh Mela is held every 12 years. Hindus believe that bathing in the sacred river washes away their sins and brings them closer to attaining moksha, or freedom from the cycle of rebirth.

The Kumbh Mela started on January 14 will end on April 28. During the four-month period, officials expect 50 million people to visit Haridwar. (ANI)

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