Millennium Post

I-Day: Security beefed up in Kolkata, districts of Bengal

Kolkata: Ahead of the 73rd Independence Day celebrations, security in and around the city and districts of West Bengal has been beefed up, a senior police officer said on Wednesday.

Besides tightening of security arrangements to avoid any untoward incident, all entry and exit points of the metropolis have been kept under extensive watch, a senior officer of Kolkata Police told PTI.

"We have increased vigil at 23 entry points of the city. All big and small hotels, guest houses and lodges in and around the city are being monitored to ensure that no outsiders without proper documents get accommodation there during this period," the officer said.

Kolkata Police have already started checking vehicles entering the city as well as those coming to the airport, a senior officer at the city's traffic department said.

"Vehicles coming to the city are thoroughly examined.

The drivers' licenses, valid documents of vehicles are also being properly checked. We are taking immediate action if any discrepancy is found there," the IPS officer said.

A senior state Home department officer said special measures have been taken keeping in mind the revocation of the special status for Jammu and Kashmir and the bifurcation of the state into two union territories, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

"There are alerts from the central government and we are making special security arrangements for Independence Day celebrations. We are following a standard protocol. We are leaving no stone unturned to keep up the security arrangements for tomorrow," the IAS officer said.

Incidentally, as many as 19 airports including the city's Netaji Subash Chandra Bose International Airport have been put on a high alert by the security agencies ahead of the Independence Day celebrations.

The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) has issued an alert to the police of all states and union territories, along with airport authorities.

Besides setting up several sand bag bunkers at key junctures, Special Task Force (STF) unit of Kolkata Police has been employed to keep a tab of things, apart from checking CCTV footages from different crossings of the city.

Talking more on the security aspects taken in and around the city, the IPS officer said, "Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) will be monitoring movements of people, vehicles within the city. We have also deployed extra policemen at most public places, pilgrim spots as well as shopping malls and movie halls. Holidays for all our colleagues have been cancelled."

The Red Road venue has been divided into 14 zones where top officers of the force will be monitoring, as part of the special security arrangements for the Independence Day parade.

Meanwhile, security arrangements in all other parts of the state have been increased.

Security in districts such as Malda, North and South 24 Parganas, Murshidabad, Uttar Dinajpur, Dakshin Dinajpur, Coochbehar having borders with Bangladesh have been enhanced, an official with the Border Security Force (BSF) posted in West Bengal said.

Even security in areas bordering with neighbouring states such as Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha has been stepped up, a police officer said.

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