3,000 cops pad up for India-Pakistan match

March 27th, 2011 - 4:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Mohali, March 27 (IANS) Over 3,000 policemen have been lined up, 100 CCTV cameras installed, quick reaction teams, bomb disposal squads and commando forces are on alert — intense security defines the state of affairs in Chandigarh and Mohali, where the electrifying semi-final clash between arch rivals India and Pakistan is scheduled.

The Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) stadium here virtually bears a fortress-like look with hundreds of security personnel deployed both inside and outside the stadium. Traffic restrictions have also been imposed near the stadium.

Police forces have been requisitioned from various districts of Punjab and over 2,000 policemen will be securing the ultra-modern PCA stadium which has a capacity of 28,000. Since all the tickets have been sold out, the PCA officials are expecting jampacked stands on the match day, March 30.

“There would be a three-tier security arrangement at PCA. All our senior officials will be present there. We have also called police force from Patiala, Sangrur, Fatehgarh Sahib, Ferozepur and Barnala districts,” Mohali district police chief Gurpreet Singh Bhullar told IANS.

“We have also drawn various contingency escape plans and security arrangements have been made in accordance with those plans. A team of SPG (special protection group) will come here today (Sunday) to hold a meeting. Besides, over 100 CCTVs cameras have been installed and QRTs (quick reaction teams), bomb disposal squads, ambulances and commando force will be there all the time,” Bhullar added.

India and Pakistan will play under floodlights Wednesday here, some 10 km from state capital Chandigarh. A galaxy of senior politicians, dignitaries, celebrities and foreign guests are expected to come to witness this match.

India Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, his wife Gursharan Kaur, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, his sister and brother-in-law Priyanka Vadra and Robert Vadra, Reliance Industries Limited chairman Mukesh Ambani, his wife Nita Ambani, senior Pakistani politicians and officials of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) are expected to reach this Punjab town to catch the live action.

Besides, unprecedented security arrangements have been made at the Taj Hotel in Chandigarh, where both the teams have been put up.

Nearly 1,000 cops have been stationed at the hotel and for the first time, jammer-installed vehicles are being used to escort the team buses.

“Foolproof security arrangements have been made at Taj. Proper frisking is done before allowing anybody to enter the hotel. We have given a list of dos and don’ts to players and team officials and told them to inform us four hours in advance if they want to go out,” Chandigarh Senior Superintendent of Police H.S. Doon told IANS.

“Cops have been deployed on both sides of the stretch, between the hotel and the stadium. Vehicles, equipped with jammers, will be part of the teams’ convoy. Police gypsies with sharp shooters will also accompany the team buses,” Doon added.

In the wake of India-Pakistan match, almost all the rooms in the hotels of the tri-city, consisting of Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali towns, are already booked for team officials, journalists and cricket fans.

(Alkesh Sharma can be contacted at alkesh.s@ians.in)

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