Tighter security at Batu Caves following concerns of possible threat

Tighter security at Batu Caves following concerns of possible threat
PHOTO: The Star

SHAH ALAM: Security at Batu Caves has been heightened for the Thaipusam celebration on Sunday.

"We have more than enough police personnel on duty there to handle any situation," said Selangor police chief Comm Datuk Abdul Samah Mat, adding that security had been enhanced since Jan 15.

Speaking to reporters yesterday, he said the police would be focusing on the area even though it had not received information about any threat. Comm Abdul Samah said a series of meetings had been held between the Gombak OCPD and the temple committee.

On another matter, Comm Abdul Samah said crime index cases had decreased by 10.36 per cent last year compared to 2014.

"Last year, 32,548 cases were reported compared to 36,308 in 2014.

"Serious crime cases have also decreased from 7,424 cases in 2014 to 6,582 cases last year," he said, adding that house break-ins had decreased from 6,190 cases in 2014 to 5,804 cases last year.

In Malacca, Sentul OCPD Asst Comm R. Munusamy said there would be a heavy presence of police officers at Batu Caves following reports lodged about Islamic State (IS) militants planning to create chaos during the Thaipusam celebration.

He said they were not taking chances following recent pictures of those resembling militants seen at the temple ground.

Thousands of devotees are expected to throng Batu Caves with the peak period expected to be on the eve of Thaipusam on Saturday.

On Jan 18, a group of non-governmental organisations lodged a police report at the Sentul police headquarters, claiming that they had received pictures of suspicious looking people with backpacks at the temple site.

The NGOs claimed that the pictures showed them within the perimeters of the temple compound and observing people who were there to perform prayers.

A 28-year-old representative of the NGOs also alleged in his report that he received feedback that IS was planting suicide bombers and wanted the police to ensure the safety of the devotees.

Asst Comm Munusamy confirmed receiving the report from the representative.

"We have our own strategies to ensure the safety of the devotees and they can carry out their religious duties without fear," he said.

National MIC Youth deputy chief M. Thinalan said they had also received similar pictures.

He said the Batu Caves temple committee have also been asked to provide more security personnel.

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