VIJAYAWADA: DGP Gautam Sawang has instructed all temple committees and managements to initiate security and protective measures on a priority basis.
He was participating in an awareness programme organised by the Endowments department at Durga Malleswara Swamy temple here on Wednesday.
Sawang stressed upon the need for appropriate coordination between temple administrators and police to check attacks on temples and desecration of idols.
He sought that all sections of the society should come forward for the protection of temples that reflect the country’s rich cultural heritage. He said that there were many ancient temples in the State, which can be protected by management by having CCTV surveillance, among other measures.
He said that the department faced a lot of allegations and criticism during the theft of three silver lions in Durga temple but the police successfully caught the culprit. He recalled that the burning of a chariot at Antarvedi had changed the scenario in the State.
The DGP said that as many as 59,443 temples were geo-tagged and 47,734 CCTV cameras installed in 13 districts. He said that village defence committees have been formed for protection of 23,832 temples and 373 culprits were arrested for attacks on temples.
Commissioner of Endowments P Arjuna Rao, Durga temple EO M. V. Suresh Babu, temple priests and others welcomed the DGP while Additional DGP (Law and order) Ravi Sankar Ayyanar, Vijayawada commissioner of police B Srinivasulu, Joint Director of ACB, GVG Ashok Kumar, DIG, Technical services Pala Raju, Vijayawada DCP Vikranth Patil and others attended the awareness meeting.