“Siddhivinayak, Tirupati, temples under jehadi threat,” by Bharti Jain for The Economic Times:
NEW DELHI: The much-revered Tirupati shrine is on the jehadi outfits” terror radar according to latest intelligence inputs which also list Sai Baba’s temple at Shirdi and the Siddhivinayak temple in Mumbai as likely terror targets.
Intelligence agencies had last month forwarded special inputs to the Union home
ministry hinting at the plans of terror outfits like LeT, Jaish e Mohammad and Harkat ul Jehad i Islami-Bangladesh (HuJi-B) to target key Hindu shrines in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh as part of their agenda of stoking communal passions by striking at religious places including mosques.
A combination of false-flag operations, and destruction of the shrines of a religion at odds with Islamic beliefs.
The inputs specifically mention Sri Venkateshwara temple at Tirupati in Andhra
Pradesh, the Siddhivinayak temple in Mumbai and Sai Baba’s shrine in Shirdi “” which are
visited by large crowds of devotees every day “” as shrines with the highest threat perception.
The major shrines to witness jehadi attacks so far include the Akshardham temple in Gujarat, Sankatmochan temple in Varanasi, Ram Lalla temple in Ayodhya, Raghunath temple in Jammu, besides a mosque in Malegaon, Jama Masjid in Delhi and, more recently, the Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad.
All these attacks were mastermined either by LeT with the help of Simi, Jaish
or Huji-B. The latter two, according to intelligence sources, work in tandem with each
These jehadi outfits strike at religious places during festivals or special prayers so as to generate wide publicity and/or maximise casualties. The MHA has taken the alleged threat to major Hindu shrines in Maharashtra or Andhra Pradesh seriously and alerted the two states through advisories asking them to step up vigil at the religious places.
Maharashtra followed up the intelligence warning with heightened security levels at the shrines, including a bar on coconut offerings. The state police also instructed its men in the field to keep an eye on any suspicious movement around the shrines to screen out potential terrorists.