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Security upgrade for Gorakhnath Math with two gazetted-rank police officers

The Uttar Pradesh government has created posts of an additional superintendent of police and a deputy superintendent of police for the security of Gorakhpur’s Gorakhnath Math, where the head priest is Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, in line with the security upgrades for Varanasi’s Kashi Vishwanath temple, the Ram temple site in Ayodhya and the disputed Krishna janambhoomi in Mathura.

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Lal Bharat Kumar Pal has been posted as ASP at the Gorakhnath s since January. The police recently sent a proposal to the government to upgrade the temple’s security. Director general of police Mukul Goel said that after assessing the security and the threat perception of vital installations including shrines, the police had found security of the Gorakhnath Math needed to be upgraded.

Asked if there was any specific threat to the Gorakhnath Math, Goel said, “It is a possible target and its security should be tightened. We will work according to directions issued by the government.”

The police also say a security upgrade was necessary because of Gorakhpur’s proximity to the Indo-Nepal border. They had demanded in their proposal that two gazetted officers be deployed for the Math’s security, sources said.

The Gorakhnath Math, which turned into a power centre after its head priest became chief minister in 2017, now has a large number of followers across the country. It has been one of the centres of the Ram temple movement since British rule, with three mahants —Digvijay Nath, Avaidyanath and Adityanath—known to have played active roles. On the occasion of Makar Sankranti, thousands of devotees from districts adjoining Gorakhpur and also from Bihar as well as neighbouring Nepal visit the temple.

An additional superintendent of police-rank officer each is in charge of the security of the Vishwanath temple in Varanasi, the disputed Krishna janambhoomi site in Mathura and the under-construction Ram temple in Ayodhya. Provincial Armed Constabulary personnel and district police officials are also part of the security teams. At the Ayodhya temple, three officers of the deputy superintendent rank are also deputed.

As per a communique, the government has approved 5,381 news police posts, 87 of them of the gazetted rank. Three additional directors general, three inspectors general of police, six deputy inspectors general, 32 superintendents of police, seven additional superintendents of police, 35 deputy superintendents of police and one joint director (prosecution) are the gazetted posts. The government has decided to create new posts in the cyber crime wing, the special task force and anti-terrorist squad and the forensic wing.

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