Thiruvananthapuram: The left opposition in the Kerala assembly yesterday criticised the security at the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple following several chain snatching incidents.
Intervening during a question raised by Congress legislator Palode Ravi about the temple, former home minister and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said the security there was appalling.
"Did you all not read in the newspaper that in a matter of 12 hours yesterday [Monday] four chain snatching incidents took place, and now you say that you have provided complete security to the priceless treasure stored in the temple," Balakrishnan said.
He made this statement soon after Devaswom Minister V.S. Sivakumar said elaborate security arrangements under a team of top police officials led by Additional Director-General of Police Venugopalan K. Nair was implemented.
"You say all this and then how come in a short period of time these chain snatching incidents were reported? Is this the way you are providing security? It is really shameful that you can't even put up a proper security ring," he said.
In May, the Supreme Court-appointed seven-member committee was appointed to prepare an inventory of the treasures contained in six vaults in the temple.
Rubies, diamonds, pure gold statues and coins, which have been unofficially estimated to be valued at over Rs1 trillion were discovered.
"The examination process of the apex court committee is still not over. The chief minister [Oommen Chandy] has made it clear that the temple's security cover will be the responsibility of the state government," Sivakumar said.
Flocking to the site
Ever since reports surfaced of the treasure stored in five of the six vaults that have been opened, people are now coming from many places to visit the temple.
The Kerala Police have placed a security cover of about 53 policemen inside the temple and another 74 officials posted outside it. They have also opened a 24-hour control room at the police station situated close to the temple.