In the light of the bomb blast outside the Delhi high court on Wednesday, the Mumbai police have made special security arrangements to prevent any untoward incident from occurring during the Ganpati immersions that will take place across the city on September 11.
In an emergency security meeting that was called by chief minister Prithviraj Chavan after news of the blast poured in, the state government decided on implementing a number of security measures with immediate effect. A few of these include increased and stringent frisking of citizens at Ganesh pandals, prohibiting citizens from carrying plastic bags for darshans and immersions, fixing an area-wise timetable for Sunday's Ganpati immersions and installing more closed circuit television cameras (CCTVs) at pandals on an urgent basis.
Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, home minister RR Patil, government secretaries, director general of police Ajit Parasnis and Mumbai police commissioner Arup Patnaik were present at the meeting.
"We have asked the police to implement the security measures decided on and appeal to Ganesh mandals and citizens to cooperate with the police. People should ensure they do not carry bags to pandals for darshan and during processions. Mandals need to install more CCTVs and make sure there is a time gap between two processions during immersion," said Chavan while talking to the media after the emergency meeting.
Security at all Ganesh pandals and the Bombay high court and sessions court in south Mumbai was increased after a high-security alert was declared and these spots were identified as vulnerable. Patnaik personally visited the high court premises to check on the arrangements.
Chavan added, "The government's proposal to install CCTVs in the city is in pipeline and a pilot project is already in place, but we need more sophisticated cameras. A high-level team comprising government representatives and members of the police will travel to the UK next week to study the functioning of the Scotland Yard." Sources said that RR Patil and leader of the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party legislator Eknath Khadse are likely to be part of this team.