KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 21, 2016:

Police and military have started joint security patrols for Thaipusam at the Sri Subramaniar Swamy Temple grounds in Batu Caves.

Gombak Police chief Assistant Commissioner Ali Ahmad said the patrols, which started today, had been necessitated by the recent terror attacks in several cities around the world.

Thaipusam falls on Sunday but will be celebrated over three days from Saturday, taking into account the chariot procession from the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in Jalan Bandar to the Batu Caves temple and back.

Ali did not disclose the number of policemen or soldiers who would be deployed on the patrols but said there was an adequate number of personnel for the duty.

“Terror attacks can happen anywhere. As such, the police are taking precautions, including at Batu Caves,” he told a news conference at the Sri Subramaniar Swamy Temple. Also present was the temple committee chairman Tan Sri R. Nadarajah.

Ali said security at Batu Caves was under control and the place was safe for Hindu devotees and visitors.

“Do not speculate on the security at Batu Caves and cause anxiety and panic among the people. Anyone violating police orders will be dealt with by the law,” he said.

More than a million devotees and visitors are expected at Batu Caves over the weekend for the Thaipusam festival.

Meanwhile, Ali also said that the police would not allow irresponsible people to collect payment for parking vehicles in the vicinity of Batu Caves during Thaipusam.

“We will monitor the situation. We advise the public not to pay any parking fees (to these irresponsible people),” he said.

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