The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Rebel hunters to guard teams

Ranchi, April 5: State police have decided to deploy one company of 'Sangel' (which means fire in Mundari), the additional special force raised by the police for exclusively dealing with the Naxalites, at the Birsa Munda airport tomorrow as part of the security cover for the Indian and Pakistani teams.

Both the teams would be arriving at 2 pm tomorrow at the airport en route to Jamshedpur to play the one-day match on April 9.

The decision was taken during a meeting of the senior police officials today. While half of the company of the 'Sangel' would be deployed at the airport, the other half would be escorting the team to Jamshedpur. Senior police officials maintained that although possibilities of any untoward incidents are minimal, the police are not going to take any chances.

Apart from the company of 'Sangel', around 100 lathi- wielding constables would also be posted at the airport to keep the enthusiastic crowd at bay.

'There would be pilot vehicles and escort teams throughout the route. All police stations on the way would be asked to keep an extra vigil so that no untoward incident occurs. Some of the escorts would also come from Jamshedpur,' said a senior police official.

Sources said the police have decided to take the bus, which would carry the players to Jamshedpur, inside the airport. The players would board the bus directly after disembarking from the flight and would be driven off straight away.

'Nobody would be allowed to go inside the airport and the constables would keep all the enthusiasts outside,' said sources.

'We may allow some of the photo-journalists to take snaps of the players but otherwise we would not allow anyone else. The players can come out of the airport and interact with the crowd if they wish to. We are not going to take any chances. Apart from that, the DSP and other senior police officials would be present at the airport,' a senior official said.

The bus carrying the players would have to go through Naxalite-prone areas like Tamar and Bundu on their way to Jamshedpur.

'They (Naxalites) are least expected come out on the main road like that. But still we are not taking any chances and half of the company of 'Sangel' would accompany the bus. All the police stations would be alerted to ensure a smooth ride for the teams,' said the senior official.

The police sources said the CRPF camp at Bundu might be utilized in case of an emergency.

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