Post-violence, cops on guard for MNS rally
A crowd of over 50,000 is expected to congregate at Azad Maidan to participate in Maharashtra Navnirman Sena's (MNS) rally, sources in the Mumbai police said. Debasish Panigrahi reports.mumbai Updated: Aug 21, 2012 00:48 IST
A crowd of over 50,000 is expected to congregate at Azad Maidan to participate in Maharashtra Navnirman Sena's (MNS) rally, sources in the Mumbai police said.
Rajnish Seth, joint commissioner of police, law and order, on Monday made it clear that they had granted permission to the Raj Thackeray-led party for a 'peaceful meeting' at Azad Maidan. He, however, sidestepped the issue when asked about the protest rally from Girgaum Chowpatty.
"The police has laid down certain conditions for the organisers, which they are expected to follow," Seth said. "Though the organisers have not specified the anticipated turnout, if the crowd swells, we will allow them to use the larger ground by opening the gates," he added.
Claiming that the police have made elaborate security arrangements and assistance has been sought from the State Reserve Police Force (SRPF), Seth said, "Our force is ready to maintain peace."
However, a source said, "A massive contingent of over 15,000 policemen will be deployed all along the way and at the venue. There will be at least one policeman for every 4-5 persons." The proceedings will be videographed.
Several senior officers from the suburbs have been called for the bandobast. Sources said Vishwas Nangre Patil, additional commissioner of police, west region, has been asked to keep a an eye on the people at Girgaum Chowpatty and Sunil Paraskar, additional commissioner of police, north, will co-ordinate with organisers.
Rajwardhan Sinha, additional commissioner of police, EOW, will look after the west region while Madhukar Pandey, additional commissioner of police, protection and security, will look after the north region.
Also, Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police, crime, has been asked to look after roads in other parts of the city as joint commissioner of police, traffic, Vivek Phansalkar will be busy in south Mumbai. Hemant Nagrale, joint commissioner of police, administration, will man the deployment at the venue.
While Phansalkar didn't specify the diversions and blocks, sources said traffic could be severely affected by the 400 buses that will be carrying people from outside Mumbai. Over 25,000 supporters are likely to come from Thane and Nashik.