Bangalore blast prompts alert from intelligence agencies

Close on the heels of the Bangalore bomb blast and the arrest of two suspects allegedly involved in it in Chennai, intelligence agencies have written to the city police to enhance security arrangements for the ongoing IPL cricket matches at the M.A. Chidambaram stadium here.

In a two-page note sent to the Police Commissioner, intelligence agencies suggested that watch towers be erected at strategic locations around the stadium.

Deployment of additional manpower, surveillance cameras and plainclothesmen was suggested at vantage points, police sources said on Wednesday.

Though there was no specific threat to IPL matches in Chennai, the security alert, according to the sources, was consequent to the explosion in Bangalore on April 17 that left 17 persons injured. So far, police have arrested three persons, two in Chennai and one in Madurai, in connection with the blast.

Three-tier frisking

According to Joint Commissioner of Police (East) K. Shankar, police held a meeting with Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) authorities on strengthening the security arrangements. “We have sought to bring the entire stadium premises under camera surveillance. Police will take over the stadium one day ahead of the match. A three-tier frisking mechanism is in place,” he said.

Armed security personnel were deployed at all entry points of the stadium since 8 p.m. on Wednesday.

Six more matches are scheduled to be played here, including one between Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad on Thursday.

Security at the hotel

“We have also tightened security at the hotel where players are staying. Police presence along the MRTS corridor that runs close to the stadium and all high-rise buildings in the vicinity has been enhanced. The fact that two suspects involved in the Bangalore blast being held in Chennai has prompted the alert,” a police official said.

He added that the Standard Operating Procedure for the IPL security included an evacuation process in the event of an exigency.