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PM security breached; govt plays it down
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 27
Even as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was chairing a Union Cabinet meeting at his 7 Race Course Road residence here today, three youngsters in a black Sonata car breached the high security cordon and drove right up to the gate from where Union Ministers are allowed entry.

However, to play down the event, PMO spokesperson Sanjay Baru said: “There was no security breach. People can come up to the reception area saying they have an appointment. All those have genuine appointments are allowed inside the reception and others are turned away.”

To the disbelief of mediapersons, who had gathered at the venue for the Cabinet briefing, SPG men failed to take notice of the luxury car, even as it drove right into the high security zone. The car with registration number DL4C V0006 was being driven by a girl, who was accompanied by another girl and a boy. One of the girls was later identified as Yogyata, who works as an airhostess with a private airline. The other two have been identified as Imran and Bina, also an airhostess.

All three have since been detained and were being questioned after their car was intercepted at INA Market in South Delhi, 3 km from the PM’s residence.

Sources said on being questioned, the youngsters told the SPG men that there were “commoners” who had come to “meet the Prime Minister”.

Yogyata, who claimed to be from Jaipur, said she wanted to find out how to meet the Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, according to a PTI report, Air Sahara tonight said it would sack two of its airhostesses involved in the security breach.

 

Maharashtra shrines under security blanket
Shiv Kumar
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, July 27
Hoax telephone calls and anonymous letters following the serial bomb blasts in Mumbai’s local trains earlier this month has forced the Maharashtra Government to beef up security at religious places across the state.

According to Home Ministry officials, several letters have been received threatening to blow up prominent shrines like the Siddhivinayak temple and Haji Ali shrine in Central Mumbai, South Mumbai’s Minara Masjid and the Saibaba shrine at Shirdi. “The letters came days after the blast and though the senders could not be traced ,we have decided to beef up security,” a senior police official said.

While some missives swear revenge against the Muslim community for the serial blasts, others have threatened retaliation for the combing operations by the Mumbai police which have resulted in hundreds of Muslim youths picked up for interrogation. A few letter writers claiming allegiance to some unknown Hindu groups from the South have even warned of LTTE-style attacks in Muslim-dominated areas of Mumbai.

The past week has seen increased security presence on the roads outside Central Mumbai’s Siddhivinayak temple. The number of sandbags propped outside have increased while vehicles passing by are under stricter scrutiny. At the Saibaba Shrine at Shirdi which attracts more than 1.5 lakh devotees on weekends, former commandos from Israel’s Mossad have been roped in.

The Shirdi Trust officials have refused to comment on the budget for increasing security here, but personnel from Tehriq, the Israeli security services company will soon be a presence in this temple town.

 



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