Top cop to devotees: keep your eyes, ears wide open, like Ganpati

Police Commissioner Dr Satyapal Singh has asked devotees to keep their eyes peeled for signs of trouble when they throng the mandals during Ganpati festival this year. And he has cited the most apt model of constant vigilance -- lord Ganpati himself.

All-seeing: The city's police commissioner has asked devotees to follow the example of Lord Ganpati who sees and hears everything. In his opinion, only this kind of vigilance can keep terrorism at bay. Pic/Shadab Khan

Singh, “During the festival, we should keep our eyes, ears and even noses open, just like Ganpati does. People have to take necessary precautions to keep danger at bay. Last year’s statistics say that more then a lakh devotees visited Lalbaugcha Raja every day for darshan. A special request has been made to the mandals to follow all the security instructions issued to them by the Mumbai police.”

Singh also claimed that 37 watch towers have been erected, and CCTVs will be fitted in areas that witness heavy crowds during the festival.

Special control rooms will also be set up in Girgaum chowpatty, Dadar chowpatty, Juhu beach, Bandra and Powai Lake.

Joint Commissioner of Police Vivek Panaskar (traffic) said, “These control rooms have been set up in crowd-prone visarjan spots so that people can directly contact them if they sense any kind of threat. These special control rooms will be in constant touch with the main control rooms and keep them updated.”

According to traffic officials, the threat of terrorist attacks is the biggest yet to be handled, as terror elements are likely to target areas thronged by devotees.

Panaskar added, “Mandals are aware of this kind of terror threat, for which instructions have been issued to them. They need to be very careful while handling the devotees assembling in their area. Last year, we had to shut down roads in 30 areas, while this year we will have to close down roads in 50 areas across the city.”

Asked about any specific terror threats, Singh said, “We haven’t received any specific threat as such, but we need to take precautions during such festivals.” 

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