Security Situation Scanned Ahead of Hazare's Fast

Security Situation Scanned Ahead of Hazare's Fast
Bomb detection and disposal squads and units of Quick Response Team are being put in place, as police throw a tight security cover today around the MMRDA grounds in suburban Bandra-Kurla Complex where Anna Hazare will commence his three-day fast from tomorrow.

Maharashtra Additional Chief Secretary (Home) U C Sarangi chaired a high-level meeting to take an overall review of the law and order situation and the security drill in the city on the eve of Hazare's fast for a 'strong' Lokpal bill.

"We took stock of the overall security review for maintaining law and order. No additional force has been sought as of now," he told reporters emerging out of the meeting also attended by top officials including DGP K Subramanium and Mumbai police chief Arup Patnak.

Sarangi also said all speeches by speakers during Hazare's fast will be monitored.

Around 2,000 constables, 200 sub-inspectors of police, six platoons of state reserve police force, three teams of Quick Response Team and two Bomb Detection and Disposal Squads will keep a hawk's vigil at the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) grounds to ensure there was no law and order problem.

The ground will have six emergency exits, 16 fire extinguishers and six metal detector units, besides round-the-clock ambulance services. Hazare is due to begin his fast at 11 am tomorrow.

The Maharashtra government assured the Centre that all necessary arrangements are being taken for Hazare's security.

In a communique to the Central government, it said adequate security will be provided to Hazare when he stages his fast, official sources said in New Delhi.

"The Maharashtra government is in regular touch with the Centre and regularly updating the development in Mumbai," an official said.

"Access control to the venue will be in place. All speeches made will be monitored and loudspeaker restrictions will be in place after 2200 hrs," said Sarangi, who had met Hazare as an emissary of the government during his 13-day fast at Ramlila maidan in Delhi in August this year.

Sarangi said he was not aware of any Intelligence Bureau (IB) alert regarding a threat to Hazare's fast.

"Whatever basic minimum bandobast is required and whatever is necessary in terms of security and law and order, is being taken care of by the police," he added.

Sarangi said Maharashtra government has not decided to send any representative to the fast venue and hence there is no question of meeting the 74-year-old Gandhian.

He said police were not issued any directives banning plastic bags to the venue of the fast.

When asked about the government's estimate about the likely crowd turnout at the venue, Sarangi said, "the capacity of the MMRDA ground will not be stretched beyond its limit".
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