As many as 10 women police officers, in mufti, stood guard around Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday when he spoke from the dais at Chhatrasal Stadium.
Targeted by a woman, who threw ink at Kejriwal on January 17 during a function at the same stadium, the police were in no mood to leave any ‘loose ends’ this time. The Aam Aadmi Party had cried foul, calling the ink attack as a “rehearsal for an assassination attempt on the CM”.
The women guards, wearing track suits, were part of the 20 police personnel who were guarding the Delhi CM at the stadium -- venue for Republic Day celebrations on Monday.
These personnel were in addition to officers who are part of the Z-plus category security detail given to Kejriwal.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Northwest) Vijay Singh told HT that the decision to deploy female and male personnel in plain clothes was taken to ensure that “the untoward incident was not repeated during the state function”.
“Our special close protection group included trained women and male cops who were deployed along the periphery of stage where the chief guest and other dignitaries were present. Their objective was to stop anybody from approaching the stage,” said Singh.
Sources said the arrangements were made in the wake of allegations that the Delhi Police were not able to prevent Bhavna Arora, an Aam Aadmi Sena activist who threw ink at Kejriwal, from reaching close to the dais from where the Delhi CM was addressing the participants. Even Arora had alleged that she was ‘manhandled’ by the AAP volunteers.
“A total of 1,000 police personnel were deployed to secure the area during the event. A thorough search and frisking was being done at the entry gates and nobody was allowed to enter the venue with prohibited items. We had installed 36 CCTV cameras to monitor the event. Security personnel were also positioned on roof-tops,” said Singh.
A day after the ink attack, the Delhi government, in a letter sent to Delhi Police chief BS Bassi by Principal Secretary (Home) S N Sahai, also sought a detailed report on the incident and the remedial measures proposed to avoid recurrence of such attacks on Kejriwal.
According to security officers, adequate security arrangements were made in and around the stadium for the state-level Republic Day celebrations, in view of the intelligence inputs that terrorists may target high-profile politicians and major public events in the Capital.