The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Neighbours put on tip-off trail

Calcutta, Sept. 11: Security at all vital installations across the state has been tightened and work on special measures for a peaceful Durga puja is on, a senior police officer said today.

The government wants “conscious and responsible” people to pass on information to the police “as and when they find anything suspicious”, deputy inspector-general (headquarters) Narayan Ghosh said today.

An alert was sounded a few days ago following a message from the Central Intelligence Branch saying there is threat from extremist forces to installations like power stations.

With the festival season around the corner, security has been beefed up not only at the power stations and oil installations but also on bridges, bus terminuses and railway stations.

The police will launch a campaign pleading the common man to become an agency or source of information. Puja committees and clubs would be asked to inform the police if they find something unusual in their area. This would primarily mean passing on information about a “new neighbour who appears strange” or anything that appears “unusual”. The police would ask “responsible” persons to keep an eye on visiting businessmen from north India within the limits of their locality. Ghosh said most of them come towards the end of the festival season but the drive to sensitise people would have to be launched now.

“This does not mean the police would immediately arrest the man whose actions appear suspicious to neighbours. We would inquire on the basis of the information and make sure the persons in question are not harassed,” said Ghosh.

Every year, 80 per cent of the police personnel are deployed during the pujas. This year, with the threat perception higher, the strength might be increased.

Aftab ‘guests’ held

Four persons, said to be from Varanasi, were picked up from Presidency Jail this afternoon when they were trying to see Aftab Ansari, the mastermind of the attack outside American Center and the kidnap of the Khadim’s owner. Police found Rs 20,000 on them and said they suspect it was meant for Aftab.

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