Puri: The state government has decided to tighten the security during the Rath Yatra this year and will deploy 140 platoons of armed police personnel in the Holy town for the purpose.
This was revealed at a review meeting chaired by Director General of Police (DGP) RP Sharma here Wednesday.
As per the proceedings of the meeting, the state police will deploy 12 SP-rank officers, four commandants, 26 additional SPs/deputy commandants, 79 DSPs/assistant commandants, 124 inspectors and 678 sub-inspectors to supervise security set up during the mega event. Apart from that, 89 traffic havildars and 552 traffic constables and 2,000 home guards will be deployed to regulate vehicular traffic during the festival.
“There will be a five-tier security cover during for Rath Yatra. Two anti-terrorist squads, two companies of swift action force (SAF), two companies of rapid action force (RAF) and equal number of special operation group (SOG) units will be deployed during the festival to meet any eventuality,” said a senior police officer.
Moreover, personnel from Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) will be kept ready to deal with any possible mishap, he added.
The district police, meanwhile, has installed at least 200 CCTV cameras in the city to keep tabs on anti-socials and vehicular traffic. It has also opened an integrated control room at the Town police station to monitor and supervise the security set up. “We have urged the Civil Aviation Ministry to declare Srimandir, Srigundicha temple and the Grand Road as no-fly zones during Rath Yatra,” said the officer.
Presiding over the review meeting, the DGP put emphasis on safety of devotees and proper management of vehicular traffic. He asked security personnel to ensure a smooth Rath Yatra.
Participating in the meeting, additional DGP Satyajit Mohanty instructed the police personnel not to engage in tiff with servitors and media people. “We should remember that we are working under CCTV surveillance and media glare. We should ensure foolproof security for the VVIPs,” he advised security personnel.
IG Asit Panigrahi warned police personnel against talking over cellphones and taking selfies while on duty. “Any violation in this regard will invite disciplinary action,” he said.
IG (operations) Soumendra Priyadarshi too asked the police personnel not to misbehave with any servitor. “Our priority is to ensure safety of devotees and smooth conduct of Rath Yatra,” he said.