Over 20,000 policemen deployed for Ganesh procession in Hyderabad

Hyderabad, Sep 26 (IANS) Over 20,000 policemen including personnel from central paramilitary forces have been deployed as part of the massive security arrangements for Ganesh immersion in Hyderabad on Sunday.

Thousands of idols will be immersed in Hussain Sagar lake in the heart of the city and dozens of other lakes on the outskirts, marking culmination of 11-day festivities.

Hyderabad Police Commissioner M. Mahender Reddy said 400 CCTV cameras were installed along the main procession route to keep a tight vigil on the proceedings.

“The cameras are connected to the command and control centre, which will help us cover every inch of the procession. If any untoward incident is likely to happen we proactively identify it and take measures on ground so that the problem can be contained then and there,” he said.

The massive procession with huge idols began from Balapur on the city outskirts and pass through communally sensitive old city and the main thoroughfares to culminate at Hussain Sagar. As many as 21 tributary processions join the main procession along its 25-km route.

Nine companies of central paramilitary forces and police forces from Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and other neighboring states were deployed. The police chief said police personnel from other districts of Telangana had also been drawn for the security arrangements.

Thirty bomb disposal teams, 30 sniffer dog teams, anti-sabotage squads were also pressed into service. Police had also deployed 120 patrol cars and 15 interceptor vehicles as part of the tight security for the mega event.

Police would extensively use mobile phone service and also 900 wireless sets to monitor the proceedings and for better coordination among different wings.

More than 50,000 idols have been installed in the limits of Hyderabad and Cyberabad police commissionerates. More than half of them will be immersed in Hussain Sagar, where 50 cranes have been installed.

Authorities have also deployed 85 mobile cranes for immersion of idols at other lakes.

More than a million people participate in the Ganesh immersion festivities in the city. As the communal riots broke out during the festivities in the past, the police make elaborate arrangements to maintain peace.

No untoward incident happened for last three years and police hoped that the festival would pass off peacefully this year too.

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