Staff Reporter

‘Forcible closure of shops will not be allowed’

Coimbatore: In view of the 12-hour bandh call given by the left parties and trade unions in protest against the hike in prices of petroleum products, the city police are throwing up an elaborate security cover in and around the city.

Talking to The Hindu, the City Police Commissioner, K.C. Mahali, said that more than 1,200 police personnel drawn from the local police, Armed Reserve and Tamil Nadu Special Police Battalion would be on deployment from midnight of Friday. Armed security cover would be provided at railway stations, bus stands, airport and 24 vital installations.

While the left parties and trade unions who are opposed to the hike have been permitted to stage a demonstration at Gandhipuram, forcible closure of shops and blocking of vehicles would not be permitted. Those indulging in such acts would be arrested and the law will be set in motion against such elements, Mr. Mahali said.

The city would be turned into a tight security fortress with police reinforcements under the supervision of two Deputy Commissioners of Police, S. Rajendran (Law and Order), P. Nagarajan (Head Quarters) besides 12 Assistant Commissioners of Police.

The police are also positioning two riot combat vehicles - Vajra and Water Cannon - in a state of readiness.

Four anti-sabotage teams of the Bomb Detection and Disposal Squads of the City Police will be positioned at the control room. The city would have 24 patrol vehicles and 37 bike patrols with 18 armed pickets at sensitive pockets to pick up those resorting to breach of law and order.

The police have also revived 11 check-posts on all arterial and feeder roads with armed police personnel equipped with wireless sets and cellular phones.

Rural areas

Similarly, in rural areas, the Inspector-General of Police, West Zone, Sanjay Arora, and the DIG of Police, Coimbatore range, Seema Agrawal, and the Superintendent of Police, G. Karthikeyan, on Friday reviewed the security arrangements and have deployed police personnel in adequate numbers to handle the situation arising out of the bandh call.

Reinforcements have been deployed at sub-division headquarters such as Palladam, Avanashi, Mettupalayam, Tirupur, Perur, Pollachi, Udumalpet and Valparai for handling the situation.