All 35,000 of the city’s police personnel will be on duty from the evening of December 31 to the early hours of January 1 to ensure that New Year’s celebrations are peaceful.
All personnel have had their leave or weekly offs cancelled, according to a senior police official. Commissioner of police Ahmad Javed on Wednesday held a meeting with all his senior officers to review the security arrangements.
Though they have received no specific terror-related inputs, the police are not taking any chances and will deploy heavy bandobast across the city.
“The central agencies had sounded an alert around a fortnight ago, but it was very general. Nonetheless, we have made adequate security arrangements,” said an IPS officer, who did not wish to be named.
To minimize untoward incidents, the police will follow a four-point strategy: a drive against drink driving, anti-terror measures, steps to tackle sexual harassment and action against bike riders without helmets.
The police will set up nakabandis on major roads and the city’s various entry and exit points.
Beaches and other popular tourist destinations will see heavy police bandobast. Apart from this, security will be stepped up at vital installations, religious places and crowded areas.
A senior officer said, “We have formed over 100 plainclothes squads to tackle cases of sexual harassment. Policemen have also been instructed to use their private vehicles in addition to police vehicles to ensure intensive patrolling in their areas.”
The anti-terrorism cell of every police station will keep an eye on suspicious people in their areas, while quick response team (QRT) units will be on standby at strategic locations.
In south Mumbai, which has the highest concentration of sensitive installations, bandobast will be especially heavy at Gateway of India, which attracts the biggest crowds.
Around 12 watch towers and dozens of CCTV cameras have been installed at Gateway, and the police will monitor the live feeds.
“There will be partitions at Gateway with separate sections for men and women to prevent cases of sexual harassment and molestation,” said Ravindra Shisve, DCP, zone 1.
“Enjoy the New Year celebrations, but with a sense of responsibility, and report any suspicious activity or object around you to the police immediately,” Shisve added.
Police chief tweets for a safe New Year’s
It’s better to call for a driver than to call for an ambulance. Don’t drink and drive! #AlertMumbaiSafeMumbai
The only destination for a drunk driver is jail. #HaveASafe2016
Be our eyes and ears. Be dutiful citizens. #Dial103 #AlertMumbai SafeMumbai