The city police are reviewing Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan's security procedure in the wake of the attempt made by an apparently troubled person to disrupt his speech at a function here recently.
Manoharan, a reportedly bankrupt Gulf returnee, had raised slogans to draw Mr. Achuthanandan's attention to his plight at the Non-Resident Keralite Welfare Fund inaugural function at Co-bank Towers auditorium on Thursday last. A subsequent police inquiry found that Manoharan, despite having arrived late, was allowed entry into the auditorium through the door near the podium where the Chief Minister was speaking, instead of the rearmost entrance reserved for the audience. The policeman at the door frisked Manoharan and checked the contents of the bag he was carrying prior to allowing him in. However, the constable did not ensure that the latecomer was seated well away from the stage.
Manoharan squeezed his way through television cameraman and news photographers standing below the stage. Security men hustled him out of the auditorium when he raised slogans. Investigators said Manoharan had no intention to harm the Chief Minister. However, he was just a few steps away from the VIP.
The police will henceforth insist that those participating in functions attended by the State Governor, Chief Minister and the Home Minister be seated at the venue at least 15 minutes before the arrival of the VIP.
The measure will also apply to journalists and Government officials who will be expected to carry identity cards. Latecomers will not be admitted to the venue. The police will frisk participants and screen them with handheld and door-fitted metal detectors before allowing them into the venue. Those carrying handbags and umbrellas will be checked separately. The police will conduct a security audit of public venues in the city, assess their vulnerabilities and devise location-specific strategies. There will be separate entrances, ideally one each, for the audience to enter and exit the venue. Assistant Commissioner (Cantonment) K.S. Gopakumar, had been removed from the post in the wake of the security breach.