Following warnings of a possible terror threat to the ICC World Cup final to be played at the Wankhede stadium on April 2, the Mumbai police have decided to check the antecedents of spectators who will get tickets to the game from the recently-conducted online ballot.
A total of 3,200 tickets are to be sold by way of online ballot. One person can buy a maximum of two tickets.
Sources in the police department said the backgrounds of all the persons who book the tickets online will be examined. Results of the ballot are expected to be out soon.
The remaining tickets – Wankhede’s capacity is 33,000 – have been allotted to clubs and ICC sponsors.
The decision on the online ballot was taken after chaos in Bangalore and Nagpur, where fans were lathi-charged by the police.
Sources said that payment for online bookings will be made by credit/debit cards, so the address and other particulars of the buyers could be easily obtained from the banks concerned.
“The addresses and other particulars will be checked by the local police station,” Mumbai police spokesperson Rajkumar Vhatkar (DCP) told the Hindustan Times.
Vhatkar said that though it will not be possible for anyone to carry any suspicious object or material inside the stadium in view of multiple security layers, the police did not want to take any chances and were therefore taking precautionary measures.
Sources said that trouble-makers who enter the stadium might try to exploit the access they get.
“With the police lifting the ban on mobile phones inside the stadium, someone might give information on the precise movement of players and their contingents to someone else. This may raise concerns about a security breach,” the sources said.
Vhatkar, however, dismissed such fears, saying that players and their contingents will get tight security cover.