Pakistan team arrives amid tight security
Heavy security has turned the Chinnaswamy stadium here into a fortress for the first T20 match between arch-rivals India and Pakistan on Tuesday. With the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) handing over the stadium to the city police on Saturday for sanitising and securing it from any potential trouble, hundreds of police personnel moved in and around the venue.
About 5,000 police personnel will be deployed from Sunday in and around the stadium, along the 1km route from the hotel where the two teams will stay and the city centre where the venue is located. “As maintaining law and order and providing security are our primary duty, we will take stern action against anyone trying to disrupt the match,” city Police Commissioner Jyotiprakash Mirji said on Saturday.
Asserting that there would be no compromise on the security of players and spectators, the police chief told reporters that no protests or demonstrations would be allowed in and around the stadium from Sunday to Tuesday. “As the governments of both the countries have agreed to hold the bilateral series, no organisation will be allowed to disrupt the match,” Mirji said.
The police chief made the observations in light of recent statements by the right-wing Hindu organisations like Shiv Sena and Sri Ram Sene threatening to disrupt the series between the two neighbouring countries. In addition to heavy deployment, there will be round-the-clock surveillance from Sunday to Tuesday, with closed circuit television (CCTV) sets installed in and around the stadium, the players’ bus route and their hotel.
To prevent disruption and unruly behaviour in the stadium during the match, fans will not be allowed to take articles like bags, food items and even water bottles. “Fans will be frisked more this time at the entrance to ensure they do not carry any harmful object into the stands,” Mirji said.
Pakistan is playing in India for the first time post-26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. Meanwhile, the 15-member squad landed at the Bangalore International Airport at around 9.45 pm. Following a brief reception ceremony, the entire contingent was whisked away to the hotel.