Insisting that safety of children was of utmost importance, the Mumbai police put the onus of security on the school management and advised them to comply with its directives.
While some schools had expressed concern over the practical implementations of the directives, the city police are adamant that schools should take responsibility.
“If they cannot build a compound wall and make architectural changes, they should at least put up a barbed fence on the wall so that no one can climb over and enter the premises,” said Dhananjay Kulkarni, deputy commissioner of police. Kulkarni added that the schools should not put all the responsibilities on the police and should do their bit in maintaining safety.
But former policemen had mixed opinions about the instructions. While some slammed the directive as “symbolic”, others said that it will help prepare the common man to deal with the emergency situations.
“If the central agencies are failing to prevent the terrorists from entering, how can civilians be asked to prepare for a terrorist attack? Terrorists cannot be stopped only by eight-foot high cement walls,” said Jaywant Hargude, who retired as an assistant commissioner of police, and had held important postings including with the anti-terrorism squad (ATS).
Senior officials said that they had also asked schools to conduct mock-drills on the premises.
“We have conducted several sessions with schools and enlightened them on the measures they need to take in hostile situations. The mock-drills should be organised by them for students from kindergarten itself,” said Balsing Rajput, deputy commissioner of police, zone XII.