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Kumbh Mela: PIL seeks adequate security for next year’s Nashik Kumbh

A PIL in Bombay High Court has sought a direction to the authorities to adopt adequate security measures against terror strikes and steps to prevent mishaps like stampede during next year’s Kumbh Mela in Maharashtra’s pilgrimage town of Nashik.

The public interest litigation, filed by right wing organisation Hindu Janjagruti Samiti, said during the 2003 Kumbh Mela, 29 people had lost their lives and 118 sustained injuries due to “insufficient infrastructure” and inadequate planning.

Coming after 12 years, the next Kumbh Mela would be held at Nashik in July next year.

The PIL, expected to come up for hearing after two weeks, has demanded that adequate police force should be deployed and sufficient CCTV cameras be installed in the pilgrimage town to prevent any untoward incidents.

Attacks on temples had increased in the past, the PIL alleged.

It cited instances, such as the 2002 attack on Raghunath Temple in Jammu in which 25 people were killed and the 2002 attack on Akshardham Temple in Gujarat in which 30 people lost their lives.

The PIL further prayed that the authorities be directed to release sufficient funds and acquire land required for holding the 2015 Kumbh Mela, as about one crore devotees are expected to throng Nashik during the event.

More than Rs 4,000 crore would be required to hold the festival, the PIL estimated.

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