Home ministry needs more time to give nod to IPLMarch 13th, 2009 - 5:30 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, March 13 (IANS) The home ministry is still examining the response of states hosting the Indian Premier League (IPL) matches and would require “some more time” to assess security arrangements before giving the tournament the green signal.
“We are still looking at the dates and need some more time especially when the match dates are around the same time as the coming general elections this April and May,” said a home ministry official.
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 had Friday scrutinised the preparations and also examined if central paramilitary forces could be spared for the matches.
The IPL organisers had drawn up a fresh schedule of the matches and submitted the same last week.
Though the IPL organisers told the home ministry they don’t require any central forces for security at the respective stadiums and for cricketers and would make their own arrangements, home ministry officials are not convinced about holding 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 minister is already on record as stating that terrorists might attempt to do something “dramatic” during the month-long 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 on May 24. In the revised schedule, three more cities were reportedly added.
The states where the IPL matches are scheduled are Delhi, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
–Indo-Asian New Service
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