Prashant Pandey

Increased threat perception in the run-up to Republic Day celebrations

Educating certain sections of people whose services could be used by the terrorists The heads of prestigious institutions that could be targeted by the terrorists are also being sensitised Apart from meetings, the awareness drive "Police-Public Security Initiative" will also be shown on television

NEW DELHI: In the wake of increased threat perception in the run-up to the Republic Day celebrations, the Delhi police have launched an awareness campaign to educate certain sections of people whose services could be used by the terrorists to carry out their nefarious designs.

The heads of prestigious institutions that could be targeted by the terrorists are also being sensitised about the precautions to be taken.

Apart from meetings, one of which was held at Satya Sai Auditorium here this past week, the awareness drive -- "Police-Public Security Initiative" -- will also be carried out through the local cable networks. Also, compact discs (CD) of the presentation would be sent to various residents' welfare associations as well as market associations to spread the messages further.

According to the Deputy Commissioner of Police (South), Praveer Ranjan, the police are not in a position to reach out to each and every person and, therefore, it was decided to educate the people through the cable. The awareness drive is likely to continue even after Republic Day which will help the police and public prepare for any eventuality in the long term.

Those who participated in the meeting included taxi service operators, public booth owners, cyber café owners, SIM card sellers, landlords and even heads of the institution like the Indian Institute of Technology.

The security initiative becomes significant in the wake of warnings from intelligence agencies that militants belonging to Jaish-e-Mohammad, Harkat ul Ansar, Jizb ul Mujahideen and some Bangladeshi outfits, apart from other fundamentalist organisations, may try to disturb peace in the Capital.

There are also indications that they are not operating through mobile phones and are increasingly using Internet for communication.

Therefore, through the security initiative, the police have instructed the cyber café and public phone booth owners to keep a proper record of people using their services. They have been asked to keep a watch on people with suspicious timings and new faces.

SIM card sellers have been asked to sell new connections only through identified or verified persons. Photocopies of documents, which establish the identity of the buyer, alone should not be accepted as residential proof. They have also been asked to keep a proper record of the people purchasing SIM cards.

The police have also asked the owners of cinema halls, security in-charges of vital installations, religious places and those owning the parking lots to get closed circuit television cameras (CCTVs) installed at the earliest. Market places are already in the process of being brought under video surveillance.