After Patna blasts, we won’t take chances: U.P. police

Security has been tightened in Uttar Pradesh’s Bahraich district, bordering Nepal, in view of the BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s rally there on November 8. The venue, nicknamed the Suheldeva rally ground, on the outskirts of the non-descript town, has been taken over by a strong contingent of the U.P. police, which will be assisted by a team of the Gujarat police.

Vigil has been intensified along the porous border, a senior police official said here. After the bomb blasts at the venue of Mr. Modi’s rally in Patna, the State police were taking no chances, he said, adding a three-tier security would be in place for the meeting.

Bahraich was in the news recently following the arrest of the suspected Indian Mujahideen operative, Afzal Usmani from Rupaidiah, a small town bordering Nepal. Usmani, who had escaped from Mumbai in September, was arrested by a Mumbai Crime Branch team last month. Informed sources said the wanted IM operative, Tahseen Akhtar alias Monu, might be hiding somewhere along the border and could be in touch with his accomplices.

Meanwhile, the police and intelligence agencies were said to have detained a youth at Rupaidiah on Sunday. He was picked up from the bus station after the police saw him moving around suspiciously, sources said. Police officials have, however, refused to confirm the development.

As for Mr. Modi’s programme, the November 8 meeting will be his third “Vijay Shanknaad” rally in Uttar Pradesh, the other two having been held in Kanpur and Jhansi. The BJP is mobilising its supporters from the neighbouring districts of Shravasti, Balrampur, Gonda, Basti and Faizabad for the Bahraich the rally.