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Security tightened at religious places in the country

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New Delhi, Mar 12 (UNI) Security has been tightened across the country, particularly at religious places, in the wake of last Tuesday's blasts in Varanasi even as life limps back to normal in the holy city.

Security has also been mounted at vital installations, airports and railways stations in the country as security agencies fear that various terrorist groups may step up their activities in the run up to the Holi festival on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, a massive manhunt has been launched to track down those behind the blasts at Sankat Mochan Temple and the Cantonment Railway Station in Varanasi in which at least 17 people were killed and several injured.

Reports received from different states said all important installations and places of worship were under the watchful eyes of the police.

In the national capital, a 'high alert' has been sounded with additional enforcements and increased patrolling at sensitive points all over the city.

In a circular, Police Commissioner K K Paul ordered that security at all vital installations and important temples be beefed up and vigil enhanced at all transit points, including inter-state borders, airports, railway stations and bus terminus.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (PCR) A K Singh said an alert had been sounded throughout the capital and all precautionary steps taken in the wake of the March 7 blasts.

Special emphasis was being put on railway stations, bus depots and the Metro, he said.

Denying that any specific threats had been received for the Delhi city, he said, ''It's a general precautionary step but nevertheless caution is the watchword.'' As per reports from Mumbai, the Maharashtra government has ordered to beef up the security at the important religious places in the state.

Talking to UNI Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil, who is also the Home Minister said: ''The state is always alert to face and tackle any terrorist activity and in view of the blast at a religious place at Varanasi.'' ''Already the sensitive places and VVIPs are well guarded and now the government has taken care to protect important religious places of all the religions,'' Mr Patil added.

Reports here from Jaipur say that Rajasthan has been put on a high alert and security beefed up in temples across the state.

According to IG (Law and Order) Navdeep Singh, all district and range police stations have been told to step up vigil in their respective areas.

''The district headquarters have been asked to enhance patrolling in crowded places, congregation points, processions after the recent blasts at Varanasi,'' he told UNI.

He said extra police and armed forces have been deployed in each district and check points erected at various places.

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