TN police on high alert for Kaanum Pongal festival today

The Tamil Nadu police is on a high alert for the last day of the Pongal festivities, Kaanum Pongal which is being celebrated across the state on Tuesday.

As many as 15,000 cops have been deployed in Chennai alone as a huge congregation of people is expected from across the state to celebrate the Kaanum Pongal.

In all the important districts of the state including Madurai, Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, Theni in South Tamil Nadu and in Coimbatore area in West Tamil Nadu, the police is on high alert with intelligence reporting that certain elements trying to create issues.

After the ban on Islamic outfit Popular Front of India (PFI) in September 2022 , there have been reports of Islamic organisations trying to take revenge. There are inputs from intelligence on the possibilities of such elements creating some issues during Pongal and to turn the issue into a communal one.

It may be noted that on Diwali eve a 29-year-old youth, Jameesha Mubin died in a car explosion. The police and NIA found that it was an act of terror and apprehended several of his accomplices.

Police are on alert to prevent any such untoward incidents during the Pongal celebrations and a large police posse is manning all important areas.

The 15000 cops deployed in Chennai are drawn from state police, reserve police and armed police battalions. 1000 home guards are also deployed for the festival.

The police have already installed loudspeakers across the Marina beach in Chennai where a large number of people are expect to reach. Police assistance booths and ambulances are also deployed across the beach and in almost all important points of Chennai.

The police is expecting a large crowd at the memorials of former Chief Ministers, M.G. Ramachandran (MGR), C.N. Annadurai (Anna), J. Jayalalithaa and M. Karunanidhi. Sources in the Greater Chennai Police told IANS that special police teams will be manning all the spots where the people congregate and there are intelligence reports of certain miscreants creating trouble during the festivities.

The police have been given instructions for taking stern action against anyone who harasses women during the rush. All-terrain vehicles have also been deployed in all the strategic locations of Chennai.

Firemen will also be deployed in various locations around Marina and other beaches. Around 50 firemen will be posted with life jackets as part of the accident prevention measures and bathing in the sea would be banned totally.

The police have also readied a team of fishermen and swimming experts to prevent any untoward incident of people being washed away in heavy tidal waves from the shores.

These fishermen will be kept as lifeguards for emergency situations and police told that around 140 swimming experts will be present on the beach Marina.

Caution boards will be erected across all points on the beaches preventing people from taking baths in the sea. The Greater Chennai Police will also deploy rescue teams to prevent people from entering the sea. Policemen in horseback would patrol the seashore.

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