The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Blast blanket on city

Calcutta, Oct. 29: Police sounded a 'high alert' in all 48 police station areas across Cal-cutta this evening within about an hour of the serial explosions in the capital.

Calcutta police commissioner Prasun Mukherjee held an emergency meeting with senior officers and a blueprint for heightened security was chalked out.

'The entire city police force has been put on high alert and officers have been directed to act accordingly. With the twin festivals of Diwali and Id around the corner, security around market places and malls have been beefed up. Forces are being deployed accordingly,' Mukherjee said.

Officers on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's route from Dum Dum airport to Raj Bhavan were told to be on guard and deputy commissioner, special branch, Pradip Kumar Chattopadhyay was asked to hit the road and bolster the ring around the VVIP. The divisional deputy commissioners were also put on their toes.

Immediately after the emergency meeting, officers of the anti-terrorist cells in the special branch and the detective department were asked to step up vigil. The police got into the act, rushing additional forces from the Reserve Force to cover important buildings, including the American Center on JL Nehru Road, the British High Commissioner's office on Ho Chi Minh Sarani and other foreign consulates. A blanket was also thrown on Howrah and Sealdah stations.

Metro Railway Police were asked to up their watch underground and ensure that passengers moved in only through door-held metal detectors.

'We are doing everything possible to make the city secure,' said Chattopadhyay.

According to the plan drawn up, gates to the bazaars in Burrabazar, Park Circus, Lake, Bhowanipore, Garden Reach, Ekbalpur and Posta areas would be heavily manned.

Markets along AJC Bose Road in Entally and Beniapukur, Circular Garden Reach Road in Garden Reach, Kalakar Street in Burrabazar and Grey Street in Shyambazar would also be guarded by uniformed or plainclothes personnel.

Late in the evening, officers of the Shakespeare Sarani and Bhowanipore police stations held an emergency meeting with the security agencies guarding shopping malls under their jurisdiction.

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