West Bengal cops on toes over PM, Maradona visitsDecember 6th, 2008 - 8:36 pm ICT by IANS
Kolkata, Dec 6 (IANS) Security was beefed up in West Bengal as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Argentinean football legend Diego Maradona arrived Saturday, an official said.”Watertight security has been arranged at all the places Maradona and Singh will be visiting Saturday and Sunday. From bomb disposal squad personnel, sniffer dogs and metal detectors to armed forces, adequate security measures have been arranged,” Pradip Chattopadhyay, city police joint commissioner (administrative) told reporters Saturday.
West Bengal police inspector general (law and order) Raj Kanojia said: “So far no untoward incidents have been reported. But we are prepared to handle any kind of situation. As for security measures, we have left no stones unturned.”
“Security have been stepped up in West Bengal, especially in Kolkata, after the Mumbai terror attack. And now, we are hardly getting time for having food and water. We are always on alert arranging security for the two dignitaries,” A. Khan, Kolkata Police official told IANS Saturday here.
“Every other minute we have to report to the police control room and get instructions from them. We have been told that there will be no definite duty hours this Saturday-Sunday. Our posting points are also being changed from time to time for sake of security,” Khan added.
Singh, who came to West Bengal on a two-day trip, arrived at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) Airport here Saturday morning and then headed for Santiniketan to attend the convocation of Visva Bharati university, of which he is the chancellor.
According to the schedule, Manmohan Singh will fly back to Kolkata late in the evening and spend the night at the Raj Bhavan.
On Sunday morning, he will again fly off in a helicopter for Malda district. Singh is slated to visit late Congress leader A.B.A. Ghani Khan Choudhury’s residence at Kotwali in Malda.
The Prime Minister will then go to Purnea, from where he will finally leave for Delhi.
Maradona arrived on a two-day visit here early Saturday where he began his schedule by flying out in a helicopter to the facility of one of the sponsors before laying the foundation stone of the Maradona Indian Football School at Mahestala, 13 km south of the city.
He would visit Mother House, the headquarters of the Missionaries of Charity founded by Mother Teresa Sunday and then would call on former chief minister Jyoti Basu at his Salt Lake residence.
Maradona would also conduct a soccer clinic at the Mohun Bagan ground later in the day, before wrapping up his visit with a charity dinner at a hotel.
Five jerseys and footballs autographed by the soccer megastar would come under the hammer at the dinner.