Ahead of I-Day, Gujarat town turns into fortress

August 10th, 2008 - 3:21 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Narendra Modi

Palanpur, Aug 10 (IANS) Ahead of the main state-level Independence Day celebrations here, this north Gujarat town has been turned into a virtual fortress. The government Aug 1 decided to hold the 62nd Independence Day celebrations at Palanpur, the district headquarter of Banaskantha.

Chief Minister Narendra Modi has started the trend of holding official celebrations of national days away from the state capital Gandhinagar in order to bring the government closer to the masses.

According to the police, nothing is being left to chance for the four-day celebrations. All the venues in Banaskantha, where Modi is likely to visit, are under strict vigil.

“We have made tight and elaborate security arrangements to ensure the smooth sailing of the I-Day events,” said district police chief D.N. Patel.

“CCTVs have been installed for the first time at border checkposts to monitor vehicles coming into the state,” Patel said.

“At least 2,000 police personnel from adjacent districts and six Special Reserve Police companies will keep a close vigil on the entire district,” the officer said.

“We have three teams of bomb detection and disposal squad and eight Quick Reaction Teams (QRTs).”

The security concerns follow the the serial bomb blasts in Ahmedabad and the recovery of a number of bombs and seizure of explosives from Surat.

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