V. Jayanth

Police suggest a system of consultation ahead of conferences, seminars

More investment will be required in the security apparatusObservance of rules will make it easier for organisers, participantsPeople have to be more vigilant and observant

CHENNAI: In the vitiated security atmosphere, organising a function or even attending one has become a huge responsibility.

The Bangalore shooting incident and the recovery of explosives along with devices in Hyderabad, have sent shivers down the spine of senior police officers in Chennai.

They think it is, perhaps, time to review the entire security machinery and put in a place a system of consultation ahead of conferences and seminars.

Police sources say when a VIP attends a function, the prescribed security drill is conducted. The local police are informed and join the exercise. These days, organisers of major music concerts, weddings, receptions and public meetings inform the police and seek their help in crowd regulation and traffic management.

"We have to go one step further to interact in the matter of security," reasons a Deputy Inspector-General of Police, who has spent a few years in the security wing.

Now that conferences, seminars and workshops involving scientists also have to come under the security umbrella, the police suggest institutes and associations planning to hold such meetings should get in touch with the local police.

"Depending on the nature of the participants, their numbers and the venue, the city police can certainly provide the kind of security cover that is needed. Till now, we have not really bothered about so many meetings and conferences that take place almost every day in hotels or convention centres. We cannot afford to ignore them any more," says a Deputy Commissioner of Police.

He says organisers should talk to the local Assistant Commissioner or Deputy Commissioner at least a week ahead of such conferences so that some planning can go into the exercise.

Though a major chunk of the police personnel in any city or district is involved in security or "bundobust" duty, the recent developments will mean more of it, stretching the force.

Further, there has to be further investment in the "security apparatus." In all major centres, the police will need more metal detectors, security door frames, vehicle checking devices and, above all, "more security consciousness" among organisers and guests.

"If the basic rules are observed and the guidelines followed, it will make it much easier for organisers and participants. This will mean reaching the venue a little ahead of time, following the security procedures and cooperating with the police," the Deputy Commissioner explains.

A senior police officer suggests that people should be "more vigilant and observant" in residential areas and hotels/lodges.

If anybody sees a suspicious looking person or object, they must swiftly but quietly inform those in charge of security or the local police.

Of course, pranksters are likely to exploit the situation and come up with more hoax calls and alarms. But the police cannot take any chances.

In the current security scenario, people have to learn to live with such drills and discipline.