Personnel gear up for security arrangements to ensure peaceful conduct of festivals
The season of festivals has begun for Hyderabadis with Bonalu celebrations getting off to a glittering start at Golconda two days ago.
While different communities prepare for the ensuing Bonalu, Ramzan, Ganesh, Dasara, Deepavali, and Christmas festivals to be held in the next six months, the police of Hyderabad and Cyberabad are gearing up for the crucial security arrangements to ensure their peaceful conduct. For the police, Golconda Bonalu ushers in the season of security strategies.
From co-ordinating with the local organisers to security sanitisation of all public places witnessing public congregations, it is patrolling, checking, deployment, meetings, briefings and de-briefings for the police for next half year. Though there are brief intervals in between, even that period is packed with reviews on where they went wrong and what best can be done.
Security meant casual checking of a place and deploying policemen till a few years ago. The terror attacks, which began with minor explosions in late 90s and became dreadful with the usage of Improvised Explosive Devices in 2007, the concept of security has undergone a sea change.
While door frame metal detectors became a must for any and every event, the police are using advanced gadgets like explosive vapour detectors to ensure safety. “Though Bonalu is confined to Golconda, we didn’t want to take a chance. Closed circuit cameras are fixed all over the place to keep tab on suspects,” Golconda Inspector, Md. Waheeduddin, says.
This year, the police are relying heavily on mobile video cameras as well to record video footage of festivities and processions so that attempts to create trouble are detected immediately. Bonalu is organised on massive scale in Mahankali Temple in Secunderabad and in the old city next month. Soon after their conclusion, arrangements begin for Ganesh and Ramzan festivals near simultaneously.
While north and central parts of the city are relatively peaceful, the real challenge of security lies in old city comprising entire south zone and parts of east and west zones. The pressure on policemen in old city is so much that it has become an unwritten code for them to stay back in police stations for days together during the nine-day-long Ganesh festival.
From Sub-Inspectors to Assistant Commissioners of Police, all make it a point to be available in their area round-the-clock. “Our continuous presence apart, extensive usage of anti-sabotage checking teams, sniffer dogs and volunteers from localities concerned is being mooted,” a police officer said.
Police officers agree in private conversations that regular policing like detection of crime might suffer during this period. “But, there is no other go,” they say.