Tight security in Hyderabad for Ganesh immersionSeptember 13th, 2008 - 7:35 pm ICT by IANS
Hyderabad, Sep 13 (IANS) A thick security blanket has been thrown around this city for immersion of idols of Hindu god Ganesh Sunday.Over 26,000 security personnel, including those from paramilitary forces, have been deployed for the annual centralised procession.
Unprecedented security arrangements have been made for the massive procession in view of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and threats from terrorists and Maoists.
About a million people attend the festivities as the mammoth procession brings the city to a grinding halt. Over 13,000 idols will be taken out in the procession for immersion in Hussain Sagar Lake in the heart of the city Sunday.
The main procession begins from Balapur and passes through the communally sensitive old city. Policemen will be deployed all along the 25-km procession route.
An alert has already been sounded with policemen checking vehicles and frisking people at various points as a precautionary measure. Tight security is in place around the mosques, especially the historic Mecca Masjid, along the procession route.
Every police station has been provided video cameras to record the main procession and dozens of other small processions. About 100 closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras have also been installed on the procession route.
As the two major festivals are coinciding and in view of the recent blasts in Bangalore and Ahmedabad, the authorities have called additional forces from other parts of the state.
Hyderabad police commissioner B. Prasada Rao said adequate security arrangements were made in view of the recent blasts in Bangalore and Ahmedabad and increased threat from the CPI-Maoists and terrorist organisations.
Hyderabad had also witnessed three bomb blast last year, killing over 50 people.
Every year, police make elaborate security arrangements as the old city in the past had witnessed communal violence during the procession.
This time, as many as 42 bomb disposal and access control teams equipped with door frame and hand held metal detectors, deep search mine detectors and explosive vapour detectors have been deployed along with anti-sabotage teams and 33 sniffer dogs.