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Security fears haunt Dandiya revellers

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On alert: Security stepped up at Malla Reddy Gardens, the venue of a ‘dandiya’ festival in Secunderabad on Saturday.
On alert: Security stepped up at Malla Reddy Gardens, the venue of a ‘dandiya’ festival in Secunderabad on Saturday.

M. Srinivas

Hustle and bustle of Navaratri missing

Private security guards along with policemen in ‘mufti’ pressed into service

Vehicle owners not being allowed to park vehicles at the venues

HYDERABAD: The serial blasts in Ahmedabad, Bangalore and New Delhi and the imminent fear of similar attacks during the festive season appears to have cast its long shadow on the Dandiya nights in twin cities during Navaratri festivities, going by the low turnout to such celebrations.

The hustle and bustle and the festive spirit, is missing and it is yet to gain momentum despite Navaratri festivities commencing on September 30. Hyderabad is known for groups of young people, clad in traditional attire dancing to the tunes of folk music and performing Dandiya with a pair of sticks at function halls and clubs.

Event managers cited the series of blasts in different parts of country and hectic work schedule of employees, especially those working in IT and ITES sectors, as the reasons for the low turnout. “We are expecting more crowds from Saturday and it will continue till Wednesday because of festival holidays,” maintained an event manager.

Dandiya nights are being organised at more than 10 places, including Secunderabad, Ameerpet, Moosapet and Champapet.

On their part, the organisers have also made foolproof security measures to instil confidence among the revellers.

Surveillance cameras were installed to screen venues and door-frame metal detectors at the entrances were also in place.

Visitors and their belongings were allowed entry only after a thorough check with metal detectors, organisers said.

“Private security guards along with policemen in ‘mufti’ have been pressed into service to keep a vigil on movements of strangers,” explained Anil Kumar S. Patel, treasurer of Sree Gujarati Seva Mandal, Secunderabad. Vehicle owners were not being allowed to park vehicles at the venues due to security reasons, he added.

Senior police officials have already conducted a series of meetings with organisers on security measures to be taken at the Dandiya venues.


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