Tuesday, April 20, 2010

COPS FORGET SECURITY, TURN MORAL POLICE

COPS FORGET SECURITY, TURN MORAL POLICE
IPL and Chinnaswamy Stadium officials slam the police for looking for beer cans rather than bombs
HEMANTH KASHYAP


Bangalore Police have come in for severe criticism after two IPL semifinal matches scheduled to be played in the city, were shifted out after the Saturday’s blasts outside Chinnaswamy stadium.
Both matches will now be played in Mumbai.
A senior IPL official asked the police what measures they had taken despite collecting Rs 40 lakh from players and the stadium as security charges.
FORGOT BASICS
“While the police were busy moral-policing, they forgot the basics,” he said. The police had restricted liquor supply inside the stadium ahead of the IPL season.
“We paid the police Rs 27 lakh in advance for providing security around the stadium besides Rs 1.5 lakh per match for providing security to players. We pay Rs 50,000 a day for providing Z-Category security to IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi when he is in town,” he said.
NOT SANITISED
The official said if the police had sanitised stadium periphery by pressing sniffer dogs and bomb detection squad, these bombs could have been detected much earlier. “The police presence near the gates is heavy. Yet, somebody planted bombs and got away with it,” he said.
“Senior IPS officers left guards at the gates and constables at the stadium periphery wall to themselves. They remained busy either watching the match inside the stadium or hobnobbing with politicians, bureaucrats and other VVIPs,” said a senior office-bearer of Karnataka State Cricket Association.
He said the police should have sanitised the area around the stadium wall at least three hours prior to the match.
LESSONS LEARNT: BIDARI
Police Commissioner Shankar M Bidari said, “It is a lesson for us. All these years, we were focusing on security inside the stadium. For some reason, which cannot be justified, we didn’t concentrate on security around the stadium’s periphery.”
“In future, security outside the stadium will be as important as that inside. We will sanitise surroundings of the stadium and start clearing these places 36 hours prior to the match,” he said.
Listing out some “practical problems”, he said, “If we sanitise the premises around the stadium, we will be causing great inconvenience to the road users. Life around MG Road, Queen’s Road and Cubbon Road will come to a halt.”
Bidari said he was not blaming the KSCA, IPL authorities, RCB or anyone else. “We have to move forward from here,” he said.
PROBE BEGINS
Meanwhile, the Bangalore police have begun their investigations to find out who planted the bombs. “A thorough investigation, on the lines of those carried out after the Bangalore serial blasts, have begun,” said Bidari. The police have begun to question KSCA guards and vendors who sold flags and other materials around the stadium.

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