BENGALURU:With the Church Street bomb blast still fresh in everyone’s memory, shopkeepers on MG Road and Church Street are doing their bit to improve security arrangements for Republic Day.
“Within days after the blast, the executive committee of the Brigade Shops and Establishments Association held a meeting with stakeholders like BBMP, BWSSB, BESCOM, local police and the local MLA. The discussion revolved around steps to be taken as security preparations for Republic Day,” said Suhail Yousuf, secretary of the association.
The result of this was a 33x zoom camera that was installed at the Church Street-Brigade Road junction and at the end of Brigade Road.
“The images can be viewed at the Ashok Nagar and the Cubbon Park police stations and we hope that the measures will instil confidence in people,” he said.
The cameras will cover the parking lots, footpaths, shops and all movement from a 360 degree perspective.
The initiative comes in the backdrop of the difficulty faced by the city police in finding corroborative evidence to find the culprits in the Church Street blast.
Mall owners too are taking precautions. At Forum mall, for instance, baggage will be checked and put in a separate room. The mall usually gets about 50,000 visitors on holidays and at least 30,000 on weekdays.
“Large baggage will not be allowed. We will check baggage and a separate room has also been set up to store them,” said mall general manager Virendra Singh.
The police department has deputed 12 Karnataka Special Reserve policemen. Over 50 CCTV cameras have been installed in the mall, including the parking area. A hundred security guards will cover the mall from all sides. “Any suspicious movement will be monitored and police will be informed immediately, Singh said.
Vicinity of Parade Grounds Sanitised
A bomb squad has also been deployed to sanitise the area around Manekshaw Parade Grounds.
According to Sandeep Patil, DCP (Central), Residency Road, Queen’s Road and other areas in a 500-m to 1-km radius around Manekshaw Parade Grounds have been checked and sanitised.
“We will be removing stranded vehicles that may be left near the ground and will only allow vehicles with passes to enter the area in the morning,” he said.
What’s New This Year?
This year, the city police will be using mobile camera units to look for suspicious elements during the parade. Two of these mobile cameras will be worn on jackets by constables who will continuously make rounds of the ground, Patil said.
A total of nine mobile cameras will be used by the police, apart from about 36 other cameras that have been installed in and around the grounds. Six of the nine cameras have been installed at locations of choice by the police.
One camera will be mounted on a vehicle. According to Patil, all the cameras will be monitored and scrutinised real-time for suspicious elements.