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Ganapati visarjan: police step up anti-terror measures

Published On : 15 Sep 2016   |  Reported By : Courtesy : The Hindu   |  Pic On: Photo credit : The Hindu


Mumbai (The Hindu): Close watch being maintained on social media sites for possible inflammatory posts; plainclothes cops will mingle with crowds to apprehend petty criminals

The city police have upped anti-terror measures at all major immersion spots to ensure that the final day of Ganeshotsav, expected to attract the largest crowds, goes off without a hitch. Offences like theft and eve-teasing have also been factored into the security arrangements for Thursday, while the cyber space will also be watched for potentially inflammatory content, said officers.

Senior police officials said the entire police force will be pressed into service to enforce bandobast on Thursday, and several companies of the State Reserve Police Force, the Riot Control Police and the Home Guards have also been called in as reinforcements.

According to officials, threat perception in terms of terror strikes is a major concern for Thursday, owing to the ever-increasing activities of the Islamic State (IS), its recent recruitment of scores of Indian youth and the fact that major immersion spots in the city will be heavily crowded on Thursday.

“Our personnel have already been conducting anti-terror measures at all spots where dense crowds are expected for the last four days. This includes repeated checking of these spots, intelligence gathering at ground-level and enquiries with hotels and lodges in the vicinity to find out if any suspicious persons have checked in over the last few days. These measures will continue on Thursday. The Anti-Terror Cells in every police station are also undertaking their own measures,” Mumbai Police spokesperson DCP Ashok Dudhe said.

The police will also be setting up nakabandi and patrolling points on several roads besides those being used by Ganesh immersion processions, where vehicles will be stopped and credentials of the occupants will be checked.

Keeping in mind the fact that offenders like cellphone thieves and pickpockets tend to strike when the crowds are heavy, police personnel have been instructed to mingle with the crowds in plainclothes and keep an eye out for such offenders. “A mixed team of male and female personnel has also been formed in every police station, which will be deployed in plainclothes to take action against any eve-teasers,” Mr Dudhe said.

Meanwhile, the Social Media Lab of the Mumbai Police has been monitoring social networking websites round-the-clock to check for potential posts that may lead to a law and order problem. This will continue on Thursday and for several more days.

The police have also roped in volunteers from NGOs, the National Cadet Corps and several colleges to help with crowd management on Thursday. CCTV cameras have been installed at all important locations, while immersions will be recorded on video cameras as well, said officers. The video footage will be viewed later by the police.







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