The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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High-scale police alert for Kali puja

Kali puja will see a tight security net in place across the city. A special force of commandos, with self-loading rifles, has been commissioned to ensure peace.

Kuldiep Singh, deputy commissioner of police (headquarters), said: “This year, the number of pujas total 1,100. Nearly 6,000 police personnel will be deployed on the roads and other strategic spots.”

This year, 147 police pickets have been posted at different places, including important intersections. An officer of inspector rank will supervise each picket, with 10 to 40 policemen to assist him.

“Additional police arrangements have been made at six Metro Railway stations, including Dum Dum, MG Road, Central and Chandni Chowk. A batch of 10 extra policemen will be posted there,” added Singh.

To keep an eye on goons from the adjoining areas, eight teams will be posted at the city’s entry and exit points.

“Also, teams, under an officer-in-charge, will be deployed at Kalighat, Shyambazar, Shakespeare Sarani and the business centres, like Posta and Burrabazar,” stated Singh.

“Four teams of commandos will be on the alert at the Police Training School,” added Singh.

The deputy commissioner said: “Apart from stray incidents, two cases were registered against two clubs for collecting subscriptions forcibly. And necessary arrests were made. These, though, were isolated incidents.”

The police have already set October 27 as the last date for immersion. “No puja will be allowed to continue after the deadline. If the time limit is violated, action will be taken against them,” Singh warned.

The detective department has also beefed up its vigil for Kali puja and Diwali. Plainclothed sleuths will keep a vigil in and around the pandals and other important places.

“Officers of the watch section have been alerted. Besides, sleuths of anti-rowdy squad have been asked to track down anyone who tries to create any kind of trouble,” said Soumen Mitra, deputy commissioner of police (detective department).

Lalbazar has issued an appeal on the festival eve against the use of banned fireworks. “Our men may raid highrises if occupants throw down crackers from the rooftops. If necessary, men will be stationed in the apartments,” added Mitra.

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