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Festivities under terror shadow

Most government offices in the city have not initiated proper security measures despite the police guidelines in view of the increasing terror activities across the country.

Most government offices in the city have not initiated proper security measures despite the police guidelines in view of the increasing terror activities across the country. The police had,a few months ago,conducted a security audit of government offices and urged authorities in writing to put in place measures — like installing CCTV cameras on their premises — to strengthen security but not many have responded in kind to the plea.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (special branch) Makrand Ranade said only a few CCTV cameras were installed in government offices. “The audit has brought about an increase in awareness about security issues in government offices. But the number of CCTV cameras should be increased as early as possible… After the audit,we had written to government offices about installing CCTV cameras and other steps to be taken for improving security. There was no deadline given; we had just appealed to the authorities to install CCTVs on their premises as soon as possible,” he said. “The police cannot install CCTV cameras in other government offices. It’s the responsibility of authorities to get them installed.”

Divisional Commissioner Dilip Band confirmed that his office had received the guidelines from the city police. “We are in the process of installing CCTVs at the divisional commissionerate,” he said,adding that he was not aware of the other offices. District Collector Vikas Deshmukh,however,refused to comment if the district collectorate has installed CCTVs or whether it plans to install them in other offices.

Meanwhile,the police stepped up security in the city in view of the bomb blast at Delhi High Court. They have instructed all Ganesh mandals to be cautious about suspicious objects like suitcases or bags found at crowded spots or parking lots. The traffic police is checking the details of abandoned and unidentified vehicles. The special branch is keeping a close watch on persons suspected to have connections with banned outfits and those arrested for radical links but released later on bail.

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“Following inputs from intelligence agencies,heavy security arrangements are already in place for the Ganesh festival. Now,after the Delhi blast,we have increased our vigil in crowded spots and important Ganesh mandals. Our bomb detection and disposal squad teams are frequently checking strategic areas like Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati Temple and Mandai chowk,” Ranade said. “We are taking every call seriously. A couple of days ago,a person had called the airport saying all the luggage should be checked thoroughly. Our BDDS teams and sniffer dogs had checked all the luggage,but didn’t find anything suspicious.”

Ranade said patrolling had also been increased. “Several Ganesh mandals have responded positively by installing CCTVs. We appeal to the people to be extra cautious.”

First published on: 08-09-2011 at 03:34 IST
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