Kolkata, March 14 (IANS) Kolkata Police have beefed up security arrangements at the Eden Gardens here following intelligence inputs of a terror attack during the cricket World Cup matches, a senior police officer said Monday.
“There is an overall threat alert across the country for the cricket mega event, but no specific inputs for Eden Gardens. We have taken all necessary measures to thwart any kind of subversive activities,” said city police Joint Commissioner (Headquarters) Jawed Shamim.
As fewer people are expected for Tuesday’s South Africa vs Ireland match, maintaining law and order would not be a problem and the stress will be on enhancing security, he said.
“A helicopter will be used for reconnaissance to ensure that all routes the team buses take remain free from danger. Elaborate plans have been made to strengthen security and the composition of the convoy of the players,” he said.
“There cannot be any compromise with respect to security. Apart from usual measures we are taking special steps for full protection to players and others at the airport, players’ hotel, the stadium besides along the airport-hotel-Eden Gardens route,” said Shamim after holding an hour-long meeting with the officials of the International Cricket Council (ICC) and Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) at the city police headquarters.
All the guidelines will be followed strictly. Spectators would not be allowed to carry anything with them including water pouches and mobiles. ICC will provide them with drinking water, Shamim told IANS.
Movement of vehicles within 50 meters of the stadium would be restricted two hours before the match and spectators have been asked to take their seats one hour before the match.
“As of now, it was decided that no VIPs would be allowed to take their vehicles near the stadium gate. If necessary, police would arrange vehicles to ferry VIPs,” said Shamim.
Besides, bomb disposal squad, special intelligence branch, and rapid action force teams would be kept ready at the ground. Several watchtowers have been set up to keep a close vigil, he added.
The security arrangements will remain same for the next two matches scheduled to be held on March 18 and 20.