Once bitten, twice shy. Rattled by the September 6 Parivartan Rally by Pradesh Congress which witnessed violence, the Police Administration has left nothing to chance on the eve of Pyarimohan Mohapatra’s ‘Kranti Samabesh.’ Anticipating trouble, it is even mulling shutting down of liquor shops if the situation warrants.
Though no instruction has been issued so far, Police Commissioner Sunil Roy said, the situation will be analysed on Sunday basing on which a decision will be taken. As per norms, the police administration seeks permission from the District Collector for such measures since the latter is vested with Excise powers.
Roy and his officers on Saturday supervised the security arrangements for the meeting which will be held at Lower PMG Square for which at least 45 platoons of police force have been mobilised. Top police officers such as Additional CP Santosh Bala and DCP Nitinjit Singh will remain present at the meeting venue. Besides, 20 DSPs, 40 Inspectors and over 100 SIs and ASIs are being pressed into service. Personnel from Odisha State Armed Police, India Reserve Battalion and Special Security Battalion have been drawn for the purpose.
Massive bandobast apart, Commissionerate Police have set up check points where people coming to the City will be scanned. Such points have been set up at Phulnakhara, Gangapada, Kalpana Square and Uttara Square. Bikes, cars and other vehicles will be checked so that those participating in the rally do not carry any kind of articles that can be used to create trouble in the meeting. Bikers without helmet and triple riders are being booked too.
As per the plans, two rallies will be taken out on the day. The first one will start from Ram Mandir Square while the second starts from Sishu Bhawan Square and both will converge at the Lower PMG Square. The Odisha Jan Manch had first estimated that the rally from Ram Mandir Square will have 40,000 people while the second will be taken out by 10,000. Later, a second estimation was submitted wherein the gathering was calculated at 70,000.
This time around, Commissionerate Police have erected three barricades and created two rooftop points to monitor the situation.
Roy told mediapersons that police had taken all necessary steps for smooth conduct of the meeting and prevent any untoward incident.