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Carrying a revolver,corporator walks into high-security municipal HQ

A major security lapse came to light at the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation premises on Wednesday when Congress corporator Barudgar Aziz brought a revolver inside the ‘heavily’ guarded premises of the city civic headquarters.

A major security lapse came to light at the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation premises on Wednesday when Congress corporator Barudgar Aziz brought a revolver inside the ‘heavily’ guarded premises of the city civic headquarters.

Following the 26/11 terror attack,the civic body had upped its security by restricting entry,installing metal detectors and baggage scanners at all points. Yet no security guard stopped or questioned Aziz when he came with the arm in the General Body meeting hall. Although no action was taken against the corporator,an enquiry has been ordered in the incident. The civic administration is also inspecting whether licenced gunholders can bring gun to the headquarters for security purposes.

The BMC headquarters is a high risk and restricted building. Around 3:00 pm in the afternoon,Aziz calmly walked into the headquarters with the revolver inside and even made his way through metal detectors and armed guards,to attend the corporation meeting. All 227 corporators and Mumbai’s first citizen—Mayor Shubha Raul— was present.

When other corporators got a whiff and Aziz sensed trouble,he quickly handed over his gun to his bodyguard and told him to leave the premises. “I was not aware that we are not supposed to bring a gun to the headquarters. I usually keep it in my back-pocket of jeans,” he said.

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Aziz was accompanied by a policeman as he has been given police protection by the Mumbai police following a threat from the underworld. The cop confirmed that he was carrying a personal gun. “He handed the gun to the bodyguard,” he said. Another Kurla corporator,who is also a licenced gun holder,said that before entering the BMC premises he gives the arm to his personnel. “You cannot bring a loaded pistol inside this building even if it is meant for your own security,” he said. Civic officials are,however,acting cautiously in this matter.

After the 26/11 terror attack,a string of security measures were announced — including compulsory registration of visitors and no entry without ID cards — and civic officials expressed confidence in the security arrangements. However,Wednesday’s incident has put a question mark on the security arrangements inside the BMC premises.

Additional municipal commissioner (security),Mahadeo Sangle said that an inquiry into the matter will be carried out.

First published on: 26-02-2009 at 11:13:37 pm
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