More than 50,000 police personnel will guard Mumbai on the large day of the Ganesh festival, when lakhs of devotees and revelers will come out on the streets and join large-scale processions.
Apart from several squads and special units, watch towers will be set up at various immersion points. The police, however, said they would not use drones, citing ‘security and operational reasons.’
Along with 47,000 uniformed personnel, who will be supervised by assistant commissioners of police and deputy commissioners of police, at least 5,000 plainclothes policemen will fan out across the city.
Random checks with be conducted on immersion routes. Some policemen will be equipped with handheld metal detectors.
policemen posted on the streets would stop and check suspicious persons and belongings with handheld metal detectors randomly enroute the immersion rally, officers said.
To beef up the coastal security on the last day of immersion, the Port Zone of the Mumbai police has been put on high alert. They will patrol the sea and rope in local fishermen for assistance. The Coast Guard and the Indian Navy have also been asked to step up security in the sea.
“The police will also be assisted by 10 companies of the State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) and two companies of the Border Security Force (BSF). We have decided not to use drones because of security and operational issues,” said Dhananjay Kulkarni, spokesperson for the Mumbai police and deputy commissioner of police, crime.
The police will also be assisted by an army of citizen volunteers. Around 10,000 NCC cadets and NSS voluters, along with members of non-government organisations will be posted at certain venues with ambulances.
Units of the Quick Response Teams (QRT) and Force One commandos will also be posted at strategic locations, to prevent any terror-related activity.
The crime branch and its allied cells will conduct combing operations in hotels and lodges in the city. All those with a past criminal history will be taken into preventive custody, the police said.