The security arrangements in Kolkata have been beefed up ahead of the Republic Day and Saraswati Puja celebrations mainly after the recent arrest of three Islamic State (IS) activists in West Bengal who were allegedly having “major sabotage plans”.
According to police sources, an unprecedented security cover would be in place on Thursday for the Republic Day parade programme at Red Road here, which will be attended by West Bengal Governor C.V. Ananda Bose and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
“The police have set up 50 ‘Naka’ check points that include different entry points to the city and the checking of the vehicles has already started since Wednesday. Security arrangements on and around the Red Road, the venue for the Republic Day parade, have been divided into 18 zones and a total of 20 officers in the rank of deputy commissioners of police will be in charge of the security arrangements in these zones, who will be assisted by 45 officers in the rank of assistant commissioners,” a police officer said.
Apart from that, 13 quick response teams, 58 PCR vans and a number of heavy radio flying squads will be deputed on and around Red Road for Thursday’s programme.
At the same time, the personnel of the intelligence unit of Kolkata Police have already started making sudden visits to the different hotels, lodges and guest houses, checking their register books and matching the identities of the boarders with the identity proof they have submitted to the hotel authorities.
“On Thursday, special security arrangements will also be made at the different popular spots like the zoological garden, important temple complexes, shopping malls and multiplexes,” another police officer said.
Special frisking drives are also being conducted by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata.
The airports authorities have also suspended the process of issuing visitors’ passes for the time being. Additional security personnel have also been deployed in the car parking spaces near the airport for the time being.