VISAKHAPATNAM: Waking up to the threat posed by increased terror activity in their neighbourhood, the Visakhapatnam police have stepped up vigil across the city. The terror attacks in Nalgonda, where one Home Guard and three police personnel, including an SI, were shot dead by SIMI activists, have alerted the police here. With the Port City poised to host a string of events including Commonwealth Parliament Association conference, CPM Party Congress and IPL cricket matches, the City police are leaving no stone unturned to ensure security.
Director-general of police JV Ramudu has issued an alert to all district police authorities to maintain high vigil and conduct regular vehicle checks to avoid untoward incidents.
Alarmed by the reports regarding presence of terror sleeping beds in the district, the special branch and intelligence wing officials have swung into action to trace out the SIMI activists. Additional forces have been deployed to check vehicles and maintain vigil.
The police have launched a search across the city collecting the details of people staying in hotels and lodges. The details of outsiders who are tenants on the outskirts of the city are also being collected. The police have already alerted all house owners in the city against renting out houses to unknown persons.
In fact, it is the presence of a large number of immigrant labourers that creates concern among the higher officials. Though most of the migrant workers claim that they hail from West Bengal or Odisha, a sizeable number of them is illegal immigrants from West Bengal, said a police official.
A large number of migrant workers are employed in the construction sector. The construction companies are employing migrants as they are willing to work for low wages. The employers are not even taking any identity proof of these workers. This lackadaisical attitude is providing space for anti-social elements to sneak into the city, said a police officer.
Recently, a Bangladesh national was found working in the port as a driver without any valid documents. The police took him into custody and deported him.
Lok Sabha speaker Sumita Mahajan has arrived in the city to attend the Commonwealth Parliament Association conference. A large number of foreign delegates are attending the three-day conference. Andhra Pradesh Assembly speaker Kodela Siva Prasada Rao, chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, Union minister Venkaiah Naidu and several other VIPs will arrive here in the next couple of days to attend various functions. In this scenario the police are taking extra care to ensure security in the port city.
“Yes, there are some vulnerable areas in the city and outskirts. During the past two years, we couldn’t keep vigil due to various problems. There is a large number of Bengali youth employed in the city and we suspect that some Bangladeshi youth might have sneaked in and there may be SIMI activists among them,” said a former assistant commissioner of police. He alleged that the use of police force for other purposes has weakened policing and investigation. There should be a separate wing to keep track of anti-social elements and monitor the floating population, he opined.
Speaking to Express, additional deputy commissioner of police (Special Branch) PV Ravi Kumar said that they had launched a massive combing operation in the wake of the recent SIMI attacks. Accepting that the presence of migrants is posing a threat, the ACP said that they should produce an identity proof like Aadhaar card or driving licence.
“The recent incidents prove that the police are not checking the credentials of the outsiders. The police should ask outsiders identify proof,” opined Ch Ramachandra Rao, a retired headmaster.