Despite the twin blasts in Dilsukhnagar and the loss of many precious lives, cinema hall owners are yet to ensure foolproof security for the viewers, say police
Eighteen days after the twin blasts at Dilsukhnagar, managements of cinema theatres seem to have not learnt any lessons to ensure foolproof security for viewers.
Despite repeated suggestions from the police asking theatre owners to focus on overhauling security measures in the wake of the blasts, several managements have turned a deaf ear and continue to screen shows in violation of norms.
Malls and other commercial establishments have already enhanced security on their premises and were allowing visitors only after frisking them thoroughly but most cinema hall owners do not seem to be paying much attention to it, police officials said.
They complained that theatre managements were frisking viewers just 10 minutes before the start of the show and allowing them inside.
“Is it possible to physically check hundreds of viewers within 10 minutes? If the show is houseful, many are avoiding door-frame metal detectors installed at the entrance to enter the hall before the start of the show,” a senior police official pointed out.
Adding to it, the managements were not utilising the services of trained security men to frisk people. All these factors make theatres potential targets for terror strikes, he said.
Another worrying aspect is the defunct surveillance cameras. A majority of the theatres had installed CCTVs after the blasts at Lumbini Park and Gokul Chat in 2007 but nothing concrete had been done to replace non-functional cameras. In a few places, cameras were capturing blur images making it difficult for the security personnel to identify those moving suspiciously.
The managements were also permitting parking of motorcycles and cars in the cellar without checking them properly, the official said. He said the arrest of suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative Mohammed Zia-ul-Haq in connection with grenade blast at Odeon theatre on May 7, 2006 had proved that theatres were always prone to terror attacks.
“It is high time the managements rectify defects and ensure proper security for viewers,” the official added. Telangana Film Chamber of Commerce president M. Vijayender Reddy agreed that some theatres were ignoring security measures.
“It is advisable for managements to give more importance to security aspects in the interest of public,” he said.