Tight security in Kolkata amid terror alert during Durga Puja
With Durga Puja festivities in full swing, the Kolkata Police have tightened security and deployed commandos of its special forces in the city in view of a possible terror alert, news agency PTI reported on Monday. “All forms of precautionary measures have been taken in view of prevailing threats from divisive and terrorist groups to destabilise peace and harmony during the festivities,” a senior police official told the news agency.
The official said that the Kolkata Police have decided to deploy commandos of its combat battalion and special striking force at 38 points in the city. The official added that 31 rapid patrolling teams have also been engaged. "There would be a three-tier security arrangement in and around the city during the Durga Puja festival this year. In three divisions in the south and southwest part of the city, we will have at least 18 patrolling teams, and the remaining groups will be in north and central Kolkata. At least 13 quick response teams have also been deployed,” the Indian Police Service (IPS) officer said.
The West Bengal government has put the police on alert in wake of the possible terror attacks in the city during Durga Puja. While 13 special Heavy Radio Flying Squads (HRFS) have been engaged at important crossings in the city such as Gariahat, Golpark, Rashbehari and New Alipore, police control rooms (PCRs) have been given the charge at 26 points across the city. Tight security is also in place at public areas such as Metro stations, marketplaces, shopping malls, popular monuments and important government offices.
Meanwhile, the administration has asked all community puja committees to engage an adequate number of volunteers in the pandals to keep a check on the movement of suspicious persons and inform the police in case of any emergency. CCTV cameras and watchtowers have been made mandatory for large Durga Puja pandals, the police officer also told PTI.
Durga puja is celebrated annually to pay homage to goddess Maa Durga. The 5-day festival is celebarted with great vigour in West Bengal as it holds special significance for the Bengali community. This year, the festival is being celebrated from October 11 till October 15.