Two quick response teams have taken position at strategic locations

Over 200 policemen have been deployed for crowd management and access control at the Ramlila grounds where anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare began a hunger strike on Friday.

He was on a fast at the Tihar Central Jail where he was taken by the Delhi Police after being arrested. His original plan to stage a fast-unto-death at the JP Park was rejected by the authorities who had imposed several tough conditions.

The Ramlila grounds were got ready by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and the police conducted anti-sabotage checks in the entire area. “The exercise was carried out before the protesters started coming in,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central Delhi) Vivek Kishore.

Barricades manned by unarmed police have been erected to control the crowd. Volunteers will ensure that people join the queue. Door frame metal detectors have been installed to screen each and every person and a mobile scanner is being used to check their luggage.

Mr. Kishore said minimal but effective deployment was made to avoid inconvenience. The gate near the stage, where Anna and others are observing fast, is being used by the organisers and their representatives, whereas another gate has been earmarked for use primarily by journalists. The exit gate for the public is located near the main entry point. “As per the contingency plan, another gate has been reserved for emergency exit,” said a policeman.

Peaceful gathering

While patrol teams have been deployed to keep a close watch on any suspicious activity in the area, two quick response teams have taken position at strategic locations. “It has been a peaceful gathering so far and people are following our directions,” said another policeman.

Additional traffic police personnel have been deployed along the adjoining roads to ensure smooth vehicular flow. Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Satyendra Garg said there was no dislocation of traffic. On his Twitter account, Mr. Garg said in the evening: “Just now I saw the whole arrangement at the Ramlila Ground. Good to see that traffic is flowing normally in the area.”

Huge procession

Earlier, in the afternoon, traffic on the stretch between the Tihar Jail and Mayapuri was affected for about an hour due to a huge procession taken out by Team Anna and his supporters while he was on his way to the Rajghat. “The West Delhi Police took care of security arrangements up to Mayapuri, following which the Central Delhi Police took over,” said a police officer.