PATNA: BJP leader and deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi has urged criminals to stay away from crime and extend support to the millions of pilgrims who are expected to visit Gaya during the fortnight-long Pitripaksha mela.
“We appeal to criminals and anti-social elements to shun crime. If they muster courage to commit even petty crimes despite our warning, they will be behind the bars in no time,” Modi was quoted as saying in Hindustan Times while inaugurating the fair on Sunday.
The fortnight-long mela, an annual ritual of the Hindus seeking salvation of the dead from the recurrent cycle of rebirth, began in Gaya district of Bihar on Sunday amid tight security arrangements.
Authorities have made elaborate security arrangements for this prominent Hindu ritual.
They have set up five control rooms, 60 police camps, and six watch towers, apart from installing 100 CCTV cameras to keep a close watch on the movements of visiting pilgrims.
More than two million Hindus are expected to descend on Gaya during the fortnight-long ritual.
As part of strict rituals, the pilgrims pay visits to as many as 54 religious spots, some even located on the top of steep hills, and offer prayers for salvation of their ancestors.
However, the major challenger before the local administration is to maintain hygiene in the city given the huge rush of pilgrims during this time.
Legend has it that Lord Rama and his wife Sita too had performed this religious ritual for their father King Dashratha on the bank of Falgu which flows by the pilgrimage city.