IT firms strengthen security on their premises

Yogendra Kalavalapalli

Companies like Deloitte thoroughly scan visitors, employees

Recent revelation of a LeT operative to bomb a firm has sent shockwaves across the sector

As a confidence-building measure, the police have stationed seven pickets

HYDERABAD: On Monday, a posse of private security guards stood guard outside the Deloitte campus here in Madhapur.

Unlike the policemen posted nearby who whiled away time reading newspapers or catching up with some gossip, they were vigilant and left nothing to chance. Vehicles entering the premises were thoroughly screened, visitors and employees scanned, and eyes kept open for anything untoward happening in the vicinity.

The recent revelation of an alleged Lakshar operative to bomb the multinational firm has sent shockwaves across the sector.

According to sources, shortly after receiving the inputs, the premises of Deloitte were thoroughly searched for any explosive devices. Sniffer dogs and bomb detection squads were pressed into service by the police.

Not wanting to take any chances, they even evicted hawkers who make a living by selling cigarettes and food stuff like idlis and fried rice to BPO employees working at odd hours.

Today, every company in the city's Silicon Valley of Madhapur and Gachibowli is on its toes. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, for example, has thrown a security blanket around its premises with three to five private security men posted at each gate.

Other companies have revamped their security too, though not on the scale Deloitte has.

Precautionary steps

A recent advisory issued by the police to all companies suggested a slew of precautionary measures while asking them to remain more vigilant. Companies have been asked to mandatorily record details of every visitor entering their premises.

On its part, as a confidence-building measure, the police have stationed seven pickets, three at Madhapur and four at Gachibowli with three to four personnel manning each of them at any time of the day.

“The State government has strengthened security around the offices,” affirmed M. Narasimha Rao, president, IT and ITES Industry Association of Andhra Pradesh (ITsAP).

“There has been an increase in security both inward and outward,” said P. Uday Chander, Vice-President (HR), Sierra Atlantic. “Even the mobile police teams [on patrol] have increased the frequency of trips.”

Industry leaders meanwhile are seeking to downplay the recent development. There has been no impact on the morale of the employees or the business atmosphere, Mr. Chander said.

“In general, the IT industry has always been wary. There has always been basic preparedness,” Mr. Rao said. “Companies are strengthening their security. There is nothing alarming.”