On Saturday, the city, especially near Wankhede stadium, will turn into a fortress with men in uniforms ensuring that nothing goes wrong.
Force One, Maharashtra police’s elite counter-terrorist commando unit set up after the 26/11 terror attacks, along with the National Security Guard (NSG), would be part of the massive security cordon for the World Cup final to be played in the south Mumbai stadium.
Rajkumar Vhatkar, deputy commissioner of police and Mumbai police’s spokesperson, said all security arrangements would be in place by Thursday.
“All policemen, including the Anti-Terrorism Squad, will be involved in the security duty,” Vhatkar said.
“Our security arrangements would not only be for the stadium, but the entire city, including Thane and Navi Mumbai,” he added.
Combat forces, such as Force One, Quick Response Team (QRT) and the NSG, would be spread across the city so that they could rush to any trouble spot as soon as possible. From Thursday, 24X7 nakabandis would be conducted and all vehicles checked in south Mumbai, especially near the stadium, until the final match.
On Monday, a joint security drill involving the police, Force One, QRT and NSG personnel was carried out at Wankhede and nearby areas to familarise the forces with the topography of the stadium and the area.
Similar drills will be carried out until Saturday, Vhatkar added.
Amid apprehensions that terrorists from Pakistan-based outfits might sneak into the city under the guise of spectators, Vhatkar said, “Until Monday, not a single visa application was forwarded from Pakistan for clearance to watch the final.”
Declare Saturday a holiday: Police
The Mumbai police have requested the state government to announce a holiday on Saturday.
The police suggested that the state government could compensate by announcing the next Saturday as a working day.
As per the state government rules, every month’s second and fourth Saturdays are official