While Assam and Meghalaya gleefully lapped up the opportunity to see the country’s major sportsmen on their home turf during the South Asian Games, there was another set of individuals who benefitted because of that.
The state police now have a brand new set of security equipment and gadgets at their disposal. Security was of prime importance during the Games as the area is close to the strongholds of militant groups such as the ULFA, NSCN (K), NDFB and KLO, and foreign athletes could have been targeted.
Knowing the sensitivity of the matter, the home ministry had sanctioned Rs 60 crore to the police authorities to upgrade their security apparatus.
The amount was spent on buying large quantities of baggage scanners, CCTV systems, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), GSM mobile locators, surveillance equipment, explosive vapour detectors, remotely-operated vehicles and equipment for patrol vehicles.
The gadgets as per Mukesh Sahay, the Director General of Police, Assam, will come in handy to modernise the police force. Importantly, the infusion comes at a time when the state is due for elections.
“All the equipment will be used for city surveillance, crowd management, election or for any other sports event in the future,” Sahay told HT on Saturday.
Sahay added the difficulty in trying to organise the Games with several constraints, including that of manpower, was the stumbling block at first but became a boon later on.
“It is a cliché but oft-repeated. Every problem is basically a challenge and an opportunity. It has also given a much-needed dose of modernisation by way of induction of technical gadgets. You know technology is a force multiplier so it has helped us and it will help the police become tech-savvy,” he stated.
The state is also scheduled to hold major events in the future too and as per Sahay, gadgets couldn’t have come at a better time.
“Assam will be hosting few matches of the Fifa U-17 World Cup, and before that there are a few ISL matches scheduled here too. So these equipment will come in handy, we will also put few of the equipment in crowded places like bus stands,” he said.