State issues advisory, asks police to 'exercise utmost vigilance'

State issues advisory, asks police to exercise utmost vigilance

Kolkata: On a rare occasion during the state's biggest festival, the Bengal government has issued an advisory directing the police to "exercise utmost vigilance" during Durga Puja with prevailing threats from "divisive and terrorist groups to destabilise the country and to create law and order problems".

The advisory issued in the context of prevailing threats of terrorist groups comes when two school teachers were killed by terrorists in Kashmir on Thursday.

It was on Thursday evening that the state Home and Hill Affairs department gave directives to all Superintendents of Police, District Magistrates, Divisional Commissioners, Inspector General of Police of all zones, Additional Director General of Police (Railways), Commissioners of all Police Commissionerates and Superintendents of Railway Police in Howrah, Sealdah, Siliguri and Kharagpur.

Though Puja pandals have already been constructed, the main festival will begin from October 12 and will continue for four days. The police and district authorities have been, however, directed to step up vigil from Friday onwards. The police were found carrying out frisking in a number of places where people usually gather in a large numbers.

Directions have also been given to ensure setting up of watch towers in large Puja pandals besides putting up surveillance cameras.

For the first time ever, community Puja committees have also been asked to engage adequate number of volunteers in the pandals to keep strict vigil on movement of suspicious persons.

The police and civil administration in districts have also been directed to take necessary steps to maintain communal harmony with special attention "to areas having mixed population or thickly populated areas".

At the same time, vigil also has to be maintained in "vulnerable and sensitive places".

Similar arrangements will also be made during Dussehra. The state Home and Hill Affairs department has also directed that the immersion of idols of goddess Durga will take place on four days (October 15, 16, 17 and 18).

The steps, however, have to be taken in such a manner that it does not result in any sort of inconvenience or annoyance of locals. Directions have also been given to ensure proper maintenance of Covid protocols.

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