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Security is of paramount importance

There is uproar and debate over the restriction of entry of non-Hindus in Somnath temple in Gujarat. Authorities have prohibited the entry to people following other faiths without prior permission. Time and again the security had to be beefed up at Somnath temple, as it is one of the most-visited pilgrimage places in Gujarat, which is situated near Vearaval off the south coast of Saurashtra region, right on the coast, its proximity to the Arabian Sea makes it more vulnerable for attacks through the sea route.

It is an important pilgrimage and tourist spot for pilgrims and tourists. The temple is considered sacred due to the various legends connected to it. Somnath means “Lord of the Soma”, an epithet of Shiva. Authorities cited security concerns and protection of ‘sanctity’ of a religious place for the restriction, saying other religions do not allow non-followers to enter their sacred places. Security reasons are always there. Somebody said a woman with Burqa (veil worn by Muslim women) was allowed while she was trying to enter. That raised the suspicion on whether non-Hindus should be checked whether they should be allowed to go and whether something will happen.

Somnath Temple is known as “the Shrine Eternal”. This legendary temple has been destroyed and rebuilt several times by Islamic kings and Hindu kings respectively. It is also believed that this is the place where Krishna ended his lila on earth and left for his heavenly abode. Moreover most of the non-Hindus always make fun of Hindu scriptures and mythological stories, they do not believe in the concept of god, it is divine place for Hindu and their belief, and there is nothing wrong if one prevents non-believers coming in. As the religious ceremonies are held inside, it is a good idea to let people who respect the faith and rituals be allowed inside. The tourists who come to see the architecture and other things will be allowed to visit any way. Many temples in South India have trustees who are hard core communists and anti-Hindus. This should not be allowed to continue.

Few years ago, there was a terror attack on Akshardham Temple, conducted by Murtuza Hafiz Yasin and Ashraf Ali Mohammed Farooq. They killed 33 people and wounded 80 others by using automatic weapons and hand grenades. National Security Guards intervened and ended the siege by killing both attackers the same night. Six accused were later arrested by Gujarat Police. In May 2014, a Supreme Court of India bench acquitted all the six prisoners of all charges and pulled up the Gujarat Police for shoddy investigation in the case.

Raghunath Temple attacks refer to two fidayeen attacks in Jammu. Raghunath temple is dedicated to Hindu God Rama. The first attack occurred on 30 March 2002 when two suicide bombers attacked the temple. Eleven persons including three security personnel were killed and 20 were injured. The terrorists arrived and fired at the guards killing them on the spot. They then stormed the temple, threw a grenade and fired indiscriminately at the worshippers. After expending his ammunition one of the attackers who was wearing a suicide vest blew him up.

On 5 July 2005, five terrorists attacked the makeshift Ram temple at the site of destroyed Babri Mosque in Ayodhya. All five were shot dead in the ensuing gunfight with the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), while one civilian died in the grenade attack that the terrorists launched in order to breach the cordoned wall. The CRPF suffered three casualties, two of whom were seriously injured with multiple gunshot wounds. The terrorists belonged to the terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Toiba, and were believed to have entered India through Nepal. They posed as pilgrims on their way to Ayodhya, and boarded a Tata Sumo at Akbarpur near the Kichaucha village in Faizabad. At Faizabad they abandoned the Sumo and hired a jeep driven by a driver, Rehan Alam Amsari. The terrorists then drove the jeep into the Ram Janmabhoomi site, and forced the driver out of the vehicle, banging the jeep against the security cordon, they hurled M67 grenades from 50 metres away to breach the cordon fence.

There is no point in condemning such disgusting acts of Muslims when the damage is already done. The insane attacks on Hindus are referenced in several reports. Looking at previous such attacks precautions are always welcome. The fact that God never shuts door for any one, but everyone has to respect the religious places with equal faith. It is humanity which has various forms of worship to attain salvation and call it different Gods. Be that as it may, it is indeed barbaric to kill and desecrate in the name of religion. That we are killing fellow human beings although having sixth sense of reasoning, are we worse than so called `animals’. It is ironic we have reduced to abysmal levels. I don’t see anything wrong if someone is trying to protect their religious places.

Somnath temple has a unique place in Hinduism as history says that there were several desecrations by Muslim invaders from eleventh to eighteen century on the structure. However, after every attack, the temple was rebuilt. The present structure was built post-Independence after a resolve by first Home Minister Sardar Patel and was inaugurated by first president Dr Rajendra Prasad on May 11, 1951.

Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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