A total of 20,000 personnel from the Gujarat Police, along with troops of paramilitary forces will be keeping a strict vigil on the upcoming Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra on Thursday, where lakhs of devotees are expected to join.
The 18-km-long procession will commence from the Lord Jagannath Temple near Jamalpur Darwaza around 7 am and will return to the temple premises by 8 pm, covering areas such as Kalupur, Saraspur, Dayanandpur among others.
“The procession will go through eight police stations in Ahmedabad and the police have made elaborate arrangements to ensure the safety and security of devotees and city public,” said Joint Commissioner of Police (Sector 1) Amit Kumar Vishwakarma.
“A total of 50 Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) rank officers, 103 Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) rank officers, 200 police inspectors and 1000 sub inspectors will be a part of the procession. We will also have the help of paramilitary forces such as the Border Security Force (BSF), the Seema Suraksha Bal and the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) for the yatra.”
A total of 18 elephants, 101 trucks, 30 Akhadas, and 20 bhajan Mandalis will be a part of the procession convoy.
“We had started making preparations for the Yatra months ago and strict checks of hotels, lodges, dhabas and restaurants were conducted in the city. Over 300 persons have been detained and around 150 persons have been banished from Ahmedabad. Moreover, 41 Bangladeshi nationals illegally staying here were also recently deported,” added Vishwakarma.
The Gujarat Police will be equipped with a state-of-the-art surveillance system with the help of Israeli-technique hot air balloon cameras.
“We have deployed CCTV cameras at over 100 crucial points on the Yatra route and the footage will be available at the control room. Moreover, hot air balloon cameras with night vision will be deployed in static positions. Drones have also been deployed to keep a tight watch,” said Vishwakarma.
The state police and the paramilitary forces personnel held a rehearsal of the Yatra procession on Tuesday, which started from Jamalpur Darwaza.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah is expected to arrive in Ahmedabad on Wednesday, and he will be joining the Aarti ceremony on early Thursday morning.
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