Home ministry asks IPL to furnish fresh schedule (Lead)March 13th, 2009 - 9:07 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, March 13 (IANS) The home ministry Friday asked the Indian Premier League (IPL) organisers to draw up another revised schedule to accommodate the concerns of various state governments on security for cricketers and match venues and avoid a clash with the dates for the general elections.
A high-level security meeting chaired by Home Minister P. Chidambaram and attended by Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta, National Security Advisor (NSA) M.K. Narayanan and Intelligence Bureau (IB) chief Rajeev Mathur scrutinised the preparations and wanted the IPL to submit fresh dates to the ministry, an official said.
Senior police officials of the states where IPL matches are scheduled to be played next month told Gupta via video-conferencing that they would not be able to provide foolproof security for the Twenty20 matches without additional security personnel from the central pool.
The Andhra Pradesh police reportedly said it would not be possible to provide security during elections in the state.
According to the revised schedule IPL submitted March 7, there is a minimum gap of two to six days before and after the polling at any specific venue.
Many of the state director generals of police have insisted that adequate paramilitary forces be kept at the disposal of the state police for security related issues.
IPL commissioner Lalit Modi told a television channel that he was ready with the fresh dates which would be released soon. The IPL will hold an emergency meeting to discuss the implications of the government decision.
Though the IPL organisers told the home ministry they don’t require any central forces for security at the stadiums and for cricketers and would make their own arrangements, home ministry officials are not convinced of security aspect to hold the matches when polling would be in full swing.
Chidambaram had earlier suggested that the IPL management consider postponing its second edition as the terror attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Pakistan early this month cast a shadow on the event and would further strain security forces who would be deployed in strength for the elections.
The home minister is already on record as stating that terrorists might attempt to do something “dramatic” during the general elections that will be held over five phases from April 16 till May 13.
The tournament was to have been staged in eight cities across the country and was scheduled to begin April 10 and conclude May 24. In the revised schedule, three more cities were added.
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