Security beefs up in Ardh Kumbh Mela

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Allahabad, Jan 1: Elaborate security arrangements have been made to counter any terrorist activities during the month-long Ardh Kumbh Mela, starting from January 3, with the Mela area turning into a fortress.

In order to counter terror attacks, a strong posse of 6,000 para-military jawans would be deployed in the Mela area. 12 commando squads, 12 anti-mines team, 10 anti-sabotaj team would also be stationed in round-the-clock service.

Besides, 28 close circuit cameras would be placed at the city's sensitive spots to keep an eye over the entry of suspected elements during the Mela.

The administration has requisitioned the services of 300 Border Security Force and Rapid Action Force jawans.

The jawans trickle from Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Delhi, Gujrat, Bihar and Maharashtra. Besides, 11,000 police would be deployed in the Mela area.

A team of intelligence and police officials have been constituted to scan the suspected activities. On wednesday last, Naini Police had nabbed two suspected people loitering near a primary school at Dandi. On being frisked, some country-made bombs were recovered from their possession.

DM Amrit Abhijat said the city police and the Ardh Kumbh Mela police had jointly launched a drive to check all the cyber cafes in the Sangam city. ''A list is also being prepared of new tenants who have occupied rooms and accommodations in and around the city in the last two months. Details regarding their profession are also being collected,'' he added.

The entire Mela area had been divided into 6 jones and 14 sectors. Around 30 police stations, 35 police chowki, 5 police lines have been set up.

Sources said police has also prepared a list of people who had made trips to Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh in the last six months.

Sources said the arrangements require Rs 200 crore, of which Rs 171 crore has been provided by the Uttar Pradesh government. UP State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) is spending Rs 13.5 crore for running special buses for the convenience of the pilgrims.

The Ardh Kumbh Mela here begins on January 3 and would culminate on February 26.

Pilgrims from all over the world have started thronging the holy city. This year over eight crore people are expected to visit the temple town of Allahabad during the Mela, the biggest religious congregation in the world.


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