Friday, February 19, 2010

Cops to have a bird’s eye on Hockey World Cup

A day after terror group HuJI warned international players from coming to India to participate in sports events; Delhi Police went on an overdrive, planning to deploy 17,000 personnel ahead of the Hockey World Cup in city

Come February 28, Delhi Police will be battle-ready. After HuJI chief and Al-Qaida commander Ilyas Kashmiri issued a threat that no foreign player should participate in the Hockey World Cup, Commonwealth Shooting Championship and Commonwealth Games, Delhi Police has decided to deploy over 17,000 security personnel for the upcoming hockey event. Over 200 commandos and 1,000 paramilitary forces have been specially requisitioned by Delhi Police commissioner Y S Dadwal. ‘‘We had asked for more personnel and our plea has been granted,’’ said Dadwal.

Sources claimed the ministry of home affairs and Delhi Police will continue reviewing security for the next few days. ‘‘There are reports that Australia and New Zealand are reconsidering participation. We do not want to give them any reason to complain,’’ said the officer.

Both the home ministry and Delhi Police put up a brave face. While MHA termed the threats ‘‘mere rhetoric’’, the police claimed the World Cup was a ‘‘dress rehearsal’’ for the Games.

‘‘The World Cup will be a dress rehearsal ahead of the Commonwealth Games. The IPL matches are in jeopardy and the Commonwealth shooting event is not ideal to test our preparedness. Though the World Cup is not an event of the magnitude of Commonwealth Games, it will see participation from two of the biggest contingents expected for the Games — England and Australia, and they are apprehensive. We are hoping the hockey event will help them gain confidence for October,’’ said a senior officer at the police headquarters.

The police have chalked out an elaborate security and traffic plan for the event that will be held from February 28 to March 13 at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium near India Gate. Besides India, hockey majors like Pakistan, Germany, Britain and Australia will be among the 12 teams fighting for the trophy.

According to sources, the teams are likely to be lodged at Le Meridien. ‘‘The hotel will be sanitized and no one without a valid pass will be allowed to enter the premises. The 3-km journey to the stadium will be accorded the same security as is given during VIP movement,’’ said an officer. The police said the route will see patrols through the day.

The stadium will have a four-tier security. The height of the outer boundary wall has been increased. The first check will be near the India Gate entrance followed by one at the main entrance, the stadium block entrance and finally when seated. The stadium walls have been made stronger to ward off bullets and the entire arena will have commandos at strategic positions.

The police say among the new ‘‘arrangements’’ will be a fully equipped surveillance van with bomb disposal gadgets and fire-fighting gear. ‘‘These will be most important in securing the venue. We will also press into service a section of the newly trained sniffer dogs. All of them have been trained by BSF. The new ticketing-scanning system used successfully at Feroz shah Stadium earlier will be upgraded and used here. Latest Xray scanners for luggage and eateries for players will also be used at the ground and hotel,’’ added the officer.

Over 100 CCTVs are being installed in and around Dhyan Chand Stadium to keep track of spectator movement, the official said. While 75 CCTVs will be fixed cameras, the official said, 30 will be pan-tilt-zoom cameras with night vision and recording facility. Forty-four CCTVs will be installed on the perimeter, access control points and circulatory areas while 39 will be installed at ground floor level and main field of the stadium.

Another 15 CCTVs will be installed in the upper basement of the stadium while seven will be deployed at the heritage building where the monitoring station is being set up.

Hockey World Cup Feb 28 to March 13

Teams participating

12 - India, Pakistan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, England, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Canada, Argentina, South Africa


Over 250, including players and support staff

Delhi police personnel to be deployed 16,000

Paramilitary personnel 1,000

Commandos from NSG and paramilitary 200

3km stretch from hotel to stadium will be sanitized

Special security measures

Surveillance van, ticket scanner, latest PTZ and CCTV cameras


HuJI has warned foreign players from participating in the world cup