Security tightened in West Bengal for I-Day

August 14th, 2008 - 9:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Aug 14 (IANS) Security arrangements in West Bengal were stepped up ahead of the Independence Day and reserved paramilitary forces were being deployed along the border with Bangladesh, officials said here Thursday. “We have stepped up vigil in public places, railway stations and bus terminals. Security has been cranked up this year in the wake of the blasts in Ahmedabad and Bangalore last month,” West Bengal Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) Raj Kanojia said.

“The vigil is particularly high at the railway stations at Howrah and Sealdah in Kolkata and New Jalpaiguri in Darjeeling district. We are frisking all passengers and checking luggage and vehicles at random,” he said.

A bomb disposal squad was already active while sniffer dogs were pressed into service to detect any explosive devices at key places across the state, he said.

“We have not received any specific information so far but we are carrying out routine inspections in guest houses and hotels in and around the city for any tourists with suspicious activities,” Kanojia said.

Kolkata police deputy commissioner (headquarters) Vinet K. Goyal told IANS: “About 5,000 police personnel will be deployed in the city. Senior officers will be in charge of the forces.”

“There will be police picketing at crowded places like shopping malls, multiplexes, and especially at state government functions. People will have to undergo not only baggage checks but also mobile checks,” Goyal said.

C.V. Murlidhar, inspector general (south Bengal) of the paramilitary Border Security Force (BSF), said reserved forces were being deployed at the border with Bangladesh Friday.

“Every year we undergo special operations procedure during Aug 11-17. On the Independence Day, all our reserve forces and even trainee personnel will be posted at the borders. Senior officers, who otherwise stay at the headquarters, will also be posted at the border,” Murlidhar said.

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