Mumbai cops puzzled over security for IPL matches

April 17th, 2008 - 7:34 pm ICT by admin  

Mumbai, April 17 (IANS) The oft-seen betel chewing Mumbai Police constable will not be brandishing the baton in the cricket stadium during Indian Premier League (IPL) matches, for the first time in the history of cricket in the island city. Mumbai police will be in charge of security outside the Wankhede stadium Sunday when two IPL teams - Mumbai Indians and Bangalore Royal Challengers - clash on the field.

The puzzled Additional Commissioner of Mumbai Police (south region) K. Venkatesham, in charge of security on roads leading to the stadium, said: “I am totally confused as to who is going to man and keep a watch on potential vandals who may slip in. I really don’t know who is going to provide security inside.”

The irritation in his tone was palpable. “It is not a normal cricket match between nations. It is just like any other programme. I don’t know whether to treat it as an entertainment programme or like a sports match.”

The police have no role to play except to direct traffic outside the stadium.

Venkatesham said: “We will be providing the normal security from our side and have not planned any special security measures.”

He said that though security and basic law and order is the state’s responsibility, “the problem lies as to how to classify the event”.

However, he added: “We are going to keep a strict vigil outside the stadium and will probably check the baggage of entrants.”

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