India on high alert this festive season

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New Delhi, Sep 30: Its a week of festivities in India. As the Ramzan ends and Navaratri begins, security has become a concern in Capital and all over the country. Its a foregone fact that terrorists tend to strike during festivities in crowded markets.

Just 2 weeks after Delhi serial blasts, terror again struck Capital at an unprecedented place. This indeed shows that terrorism has crept down to all levels of strata. This seems to have wored as a wake-up-call to Centre, at last. Two high-level meetings backto-back in the home ministry on Monday, Sep 29 instructed Delhi Police to be on toes. The seriousness of the matter and the level of preparedness were discussed.

One of the meetings was chaired by Union home minister Shivraj Patil, who discussed the security scenario with home secretary Madhukar Gupta. The second one, chaired by Gupta, was attended by police commissioner YS Dadwal and intelligence bureau chief PC Haldar. On the recommendation of Delhi Police, home ministry has passed an order to wind-up all Ramlila programmes before 10 pm.

Dadwal later told reporters that in view of the festival season, patrolling would be intensified in the Capital with increased presence of security personnel. Asked about the plan to not allow Ramlilas beyond 10 pm, he said such an instruction had been issued for security reasons. Extra police presence and surveillance at busy markets, temples, mosques, puja pandals and Ramlila grounds is being increased. At markets across the city, additional force is being deployed and door framed metal detectors (DFMDs) installed at the access points. More CCTV cameras are being installed in areas like Ghaffar Market which was a target on September 13.

At Lajpat Nagar"s Central Market, police patrolling has been stepped up and regular announcements are being made to ask shoppers to report any unidentified objects or suspicious people. ''We have tried to seal the entry points to the market and make everyone enter through a DFMD. People are being checked at random and asked to get their bags checked. Special pickets have been set up and announcements are being made to make people aware,"" said a police officer. The situation is the same at Sarojini Nagar and Karol Bagh where cops are keeping vigil from an elevated post.

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