The holy city turned into a fortress on Monday with heavy security arrangements put in place ahead of the controversial Sarbat Khalsa (congregation of Sikhs) that will be held at Chabba village on the outskirts of Amritsar on November 10 (Tuesday).
With the proposed event — being organised by ‘Panthic’ leaders, including hardliners — already generating much hype, the state government is not taking any chances on the law and order front.
Over 5,000 security personnel have been deployed across the city. Paramilitary forces, including the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Central Reserve Police Force, Border Security Force (BSF), and the Rapid Action Force, are keeping tight vigil at all important spots.
Special security arrangements have been made near the venue on the Amritsar-Tarn Taran road.
“We had asked for 25 companies of paramilitary forces but we were allotted only 14. While 12 companies have been deployed in Amritsar, one each has been sent to Jalandhar and Ludhiana,” said Punjab director general of police Suresh Arora, who is camping in the city.
Apart from paramilitary troops, 23 companies of Punjab Armed Police, India Reserve Battalion and Anti Riot Police (ARP) have also been rushed to Amritsar.
The DGP held a high-level meeting to discuss the security arrangements in the city and near the venue. Senior officers, including ADGP (law and order) Rohit Choudhary, IG (border zone) Lok Nath Angra, DIG (border zone) Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh and Amritsar police commissioner Jatinder Aulakh, told the DGP that surveillance cameras have been installed at all crucial points to keep a close watch on movement of people.
Tight vigil is being kept in areas near the Golden Temple. Surveillance cameras have been put in place at Hall Gate, Jallianwala Bagh and Katra Sher Singh.
All roads leading to the venue are being heavily guarded. Strict instructions have been given to security forces to not allow any big gatherings across the city during and after the Sarbat Khalsa. Vehicles are being thoroughly searched at special check points set up across the city.