Malls, railway stations in Kolkata under heavy security blanket

July 28th, 2008 - 11:32 am ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, July 28 (IANS) A large number of policemen were deployed Monday at bus terminals, railway stations and shopping malls here following the multiple blasts in Bangalore and Hyderabad. Passengers at the long distance bus termini in Babughat and Esplanade in the heart of the city were being frisked, while large police pickets had been set up outside metro stations. At Howrah railway station, sniffer dogs were being used by the police to check for explosive devices.

“We have told bus drivers to be very alert and report to us the moment they find anything suspicious lying on the streets. Bus conductors have been told to keep a close watch on the passengers,” said a police officer.

Security was also tightened in and around the vital Rabindra Setu, which connects the twin cities of Kolkata and Howrah. A large number of policemen was deployed on both sides of the bridge that is used by thousands everyday.

A meeting of senior officials, presided over by West Bengal Home Secretary Ashok Mohan Chakraborty, was held Sunday night at the police headquarters in Lalbazar.

Director General of Police A.B. Vora, Kolkata Police Commissioner Goutam Mohan Chakraborty, police superintendents of the neighbouring districts of North 24 Parganas and South 24 Parganas, Kolkata chief municipal commissioner Alapan Bandopadhyay and the chief minister’s chief security officer Arvind Maliwal were present at the meeting. Officials of leading shopping malls also attended.

“We have chalked out long-term and short-term measures to prevent any incident like the ones in Banglaore and Ahmedabad. The measures will be finalised Monday,” said the home secretary.

“Our aim is to ensure that public life is not hampered,” the police commissioner said.

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