Following the recent blasts in Ajmer and Ludhiana, security in markets in Delhi has been beefed up. HT did a spot check in a few busy streets to find out how safe it actually is this festive season.
Though police have erected door frame metal detectors (DFMDs) at the exit and entry points to the market, policemen hardly bother to check people passing through. When the Hindustan Times team visited the market in the evening, a policeman positioned near the DFMD hardly bothered to frisk people visiting the market.
As soon as our reporter asked the policeman why he was not checking people, he swung into action and started frisking visitors.
Heavy police presence is visible here, people visiting the market have to walk through a door frame metal detector and police sharpshooters are also keeping strict vigil. But it is easy to enter the market from the bylanes. There is no check on people who find their way in from the bylanes around.
The heart of Durga Puja festivities, Chittaranjan Park, is abuzz with visitors. Police personnel are patrolling the various puja pandals but when HT visited the area in the evening, security in certain pandals was found wanting.
A few officers could be seen in the pandals but were not frisking visitors properly. Many were entering and leaving the pandals without being checked. “I have visited four pujas today but no body has actually checked me, although police officers could be seen keeping an eye on the proceeding,” said Soumya Chatterjee, a resident of East of Kailash.
The market that was rocked by a blast in October 2005 when a bomb planted in a juice stall exploded is high on the police’s priority list. And the presence of the men in khaki is quite visible here. Barricades have been put up and most visitors are being frisked. The market association has pitched in by putting up a machan.
However, close circuit cameras have still not been installed, despite several assurances, rue shopkeepers.
“We have had several meetings with the police, but these cameras still have not been installed,” said a shopkeeper.
Rajan Bhagat, Delhi police spokesperson said officers have been deployed in all busy areas and are keeping a strict vigil. In addition, commandos and spotters are patrolling crowded localities. Various market associations and public volunteers are also actively working with us to keep a strict check.