High security turns Bangalore stadium into fortress
Unprecedented security at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here for the Indian Premier League match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad Sunday has turned the venue into a fortress.
With the tournament's second leg getting underway in India May 2, a day after twin blasts at the Chennai central station in an express train that departed from Bangalore late Wednesday, the police are not taking chances to provide fool-proof security to frenzied fans, teams, officials and VIPs flocking to watch the match.
"We have deployed about 1,000 personnel in and around the stadium in the city centre to maintain law and order and ensure the game is played without disruption," a senior police official told IANS at the venue.
To prevent any untoward incident, armed guards have been deployed at entry and vantage points around the flood-lit stadium with about 90 closed circuit television (CCTV) surveillance cameras, bomb detection and disposal squad and a dog squad to sniff suspicious objects like explosives, arms and weapons.
"As there was a minor blast at the stadium in April 2010 before an IPL match and similar incidents at other places in the city, since then a three-layer security is provided with a dozen watch towers to monitor movements of people and vehicles," additional commissioner of police Kamal Pant said.
Even two hours before the start of the match, enthusiastic fans queued up at the entry gates to undergo the ordeal of frisking, body search with metal detectors and arrogant behaviour of the security personnel.
As a stretch of the road on the stadium's northern side has been blocked for the underground metro rail project, traffic police had a harrowing time restricting and regulating vehicular movement to the venue and through down town on a weekend evening.
"In view of the road blockade for the metro project and space crunch, we have banned parking 1km around the stadium and on both sides of roads leading to the venue and restricted vehicles in the area to prevent grid lock and jam at traffic signals," Pant added.
With a strict ban on taking into the stands handbags, water bottles, food packages and musical instruments, the fans were, however, allowed to carry mobile handsets, flags, caps and placards to back the home team.
(Posted on 04-05-2014)