Monday, September 20, 2010

Games OC Assures for Games Security

Hours after two gunmen fired at a foreign tourist party near Gate No 3 of Jama Masjid on Sunday, the Delhi Police increased security at all important installations in the city. Security at all historical and religious places like Red Fort and Akshardham Temple as well as government buildings was stepped up. Police said all local calls made in the central Delhi area during and immediately after the attack were being scanned and occupants of the hotels at Daryaganj and Jama Masjid area were being verified.

Police have already barricaded Red Fort and are asking visitors to go through stringent checks. ‘‘We have increased our presence in the railway stations and ISBTs. Highest security is being accorded to the venues,’’ said a senior north district officer.

With the Commonwealth Games round the corner, residents have started questioning whether deployment of 40% of the district staff for CWG training and deployment was affecting day-to-day policing operations in the city. Delhi Police, however, vehemently denied any such notion and said new officers have been inducted in the force to tackle the situation. ‘‘Extra deployment from the additional forces are being made accordingly,’’ said a senior central district officer.

The Union home ministry is closely monitoring the investigations into the shooting incident near the Jama Masjid here on Sunday and has sought a report from the Delhi police. Senior home ministry officials said they are keeping a close watch on the developments in the wake of the firing incident, which comes just days ahead of the Commonwealth Games. Delhi, which was already on alert in view of the CWG, has been put on high alert after the shooting incident.

Meanwhile, the CWG Organizing Committee said the incident on Sunday morning will not have any impact on the Games next month and assured that India would provide foolproof security to the visiting athletes and officials.

CWG OC spokesperson Lalit Bhanot said the country’s security establishment has made elaborate arrangements to ensure that the participants and officials are safe during the Games. ‘‘The ministry of home affairs and Delhi Police have made elaborate arrangements to provide the Commonwealth Games athletes and officials a safe and secure environment,’’ Bhanot said in the statement.

‘‘The Commonwealth Games Associations of the nations and territories have been satisfied with the plans and preparations made by Delhi Police and the International Security Liaison Group, formed by the ministry of home affairs,’’ he said.