Detailed security arrangements for Basant Panchmi magh mela.

Allahabad, Jan 31 : Allahabad, in Uttar Pradesh, is celebrating Saraswati Puja with full fervour and gaiety at the fourth bathing festival of Magh mela.

Here, around 40 lakh Hindu devotees are expected to take the auspicious holy dip on the banks of Sangam, the confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati.

Quick reaction teams (QRT), commandos and paramilitary forces have been deployed. An anti-terrorist squad (ATS), a special task force, a bomb disposal squad, an anti-mines squad and intelligence officials are checking the banks where the pilgrims bathe.

Deputy Inspector General M K Bashal claimed that Mela police have strengthened security at checkpoints and will implement a disaster management plan to deal with any emergency.

Saraswati Puja and Basant Panchmi are being celebrated with great enthusiasm across the country. Schools and colleges are closed.

The festival is celebrated with colours (gulal), as customs associated with the Holi festival begins from this day.

The birthday of Saraswati, considered as the goddess of knowledge and arts, is a Hindu festival celebrated every year on the fifth day of the bright fortnight of the lunar month of Magha.