Shirdi tops up security with private squad

The Shirdi Saibaba Sansthan Trust (SSST) will form its own security squad, members of which will move around in civil dress to catch pickpockets, chain snatchers, cellphone lifters and fake agents in and around the temple premises. “Strict surveillance by policemen and trust volunteers has not been enough to stop pickpockets at the temple premises. Recently, we came across cases where foreign devotees were looted of cash by pickpockets. As this is a serious matter, the trust executive governing body has decided to form a special squad. Young members of this squad, trained by the police in surveillance and monitoring will assist them in keeping vigilance,” trustee Sachin Tambe said.

Inspector Pratap Ingle will conduct the training sessions for the youths before they start work. “The special squad in civil dress will be deployed at the temple, Dwarkamai, Gurusthan, Maruti temple, Mukhadarshan Hall, PRO office, Prasadalaya, and between the darshan queues. They will coordinate between visitors, villagers and policemen,” Ingle said. Since a few months, cases of mobile thefts, chain snatching, bag-lifting and pickpocketing are on the rise at Shirdi. The temple is gearing up for the 100th year of Saibaba’s death anniversary.