Unprecedented security at Mohali stadium for second TestDecember 18th, 2008 - 2:13 pm ICT by IANS
Mohali (Punjab), Dec 18 (IANS) The police are taking stringent steps to ensure security for the second cricket Test between India and England, slated to start at Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) stadium here Friday.”For the first time, we have set up ’safe houses’ for the players that could be used in case of any emergency. Our special task force will immediately shift the players to the safe houses if any problem arises during the match,” Mohali police chief Jatinder Singh Aulakh told IANS.
Declining to give any specific details about the location of the safe houses, he said they are located quite near the stadium, in Mohali district in Punjab, around 10 km from Chandigarh.
As against 700 policemen who are put in and around the stadium during other international matches here, nearly 1,000 will be on duty at the stadium Dec 19-23, Aulakh said, adding that police commandos and intelligence officials will also keep an eye on any anti-social elements.
“Our commando complex is just a kilometre away from the stadium and we can call additional forces anytime in case of any untoward incident,” he added.
Around 120 close circuit television (CCTV) cameras have been installed, which have been connected to the police control room, where they will be monitored.
“The whole stadium premise is divided into six sectors inside and into six sectors outside. A senior official will be on duty at every sector,” he said.
Apprehensive of any aerial threat, Aulakh, who is in charge of security at stadium, said: “We do not want to take any chance, so to thwart any aerial threat, specially trained security personnel will be stationed on the tops of the buildings and houses around the stadium. They will be provided with binoculars, wireless telephones and sophisticated weaponry.”
Around 18 checkpoints have been installed around the PCA stadium and all the routes leading to it will be sealed Dec 19-23. Everyone coming here will have to pass through various security checks before entering the stadium, Aulakh said.
Over 200 Punjab police cops and personnel of the anti-sabotage team are already guarding the main gates of the stadium round the clock for the last five days.
About the changes made in the routes leading to stadium, Aulakh said: “Our main aim is to restrict vehicular movement on the roads around the stadium from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. We will issue special passes to residents of these areas and allow their vehicles to ply on these roads”.
Buses carrying the two teams will follow different routes every day while coming to the stadium from hotel Taj in Chandigarh, he added.
The English cricket team had left India after the Mumbai massacres but returned to play the two Test matches and complete their tour.