Despite an appeal by the police to not celebrate Dahi Handi on the roads in view of last week’s serial blasts on JM Road and the safety concerns springing from the incident, mandals organising the festival in the city are reluctant to make a change in their plans. The mandals claim they will hold the celebrations under CCTV surveillance and with all necessary safety measures in place to make the crowds of revellers feelsafe.
Hoardings displayed in the city that advertise various Dahi Handi celebrations also make assurances of safety, claiming the CCTV cameras will be installed during the festival for the purpose. On one such flex board at Shivaji Nagar, the organiser mentions that the Dhanori Gaon Dahi Handi celebrations will be under CCTV surveillance.
Organiser Mauli Tingare said that instead of toning down the celebrations, he had decided to install CCTV cameras as a safety measure. “Till last years we used to deploy private security guards, but keeping in view the recent incident of bomb blasts in the city, this time we have decided to install CCTV to create a secure atmosphere for the festival,” Tingare said. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Vishwas Pandhare appreciated the decision of mandals to install CCTV systems, but said it would be good if an open ground were chosen for the venue.
“We have already appealed to the organisers of Dahi Handi celebrations to organise the festival in open grounds,” Pandhare said. “We also told them to install temporary CCTV systems for the purpose of security and if any mandal has taken the decision to do so, then we appreciate it.” The Maharashtra Navn-irman Sena (MNS), which is organising a women’s Dahi Handi in Kothrud, will hold its event in an open ground.
The MNS venue will have private security guards deployed and there will be a metal detector machine. “As the celebrations will be in an open ground, we will not install CCTV but do live video shooting of the entire place,” MNS corporator and event organiser Kishor Shinde said. “Screens will also be installed so that we can keep a watch on suspicious activities, if any.”
The organiser of Suvarna Yug Tarun Mandal’s celebrations, Hemant Rasane, said the Samadhan Chowk venue on Laxmi Road for their Dahi Handi was already under CCTV surveillance and so they were not making any separate arrangements for cameras.