40,000 cops on roads keeping Mumbai safe on Independence Day

Updated: Aug 15, 2019, 08:22 IST | Suraj Ojha | Mumbai

The Government Railway Police (GRP) and Railway Protection Force (RPF) conducted strict security checks at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT)

Security personnel patrol around Mumbai Central Railway Station on the eve of Independence Day in Mumbai. Pic/PTI
Security personnel patrol around Mumbai Central Railway Station on the eve of Independence Day in Mumbai. Pic/PTI

Elaborate security arrangements have been made in Mumbai in the wake of Independence Day. Commandos of the National Security Guard (NSG) were spotted at various locations across the city. A senior IPS officer told mid-day, "Like very year, an alert has been issued before Independence Day. We have to be alert to stave off any untoward incidents, as Mumbai is the financial capital and a terror target. That's why we have stepped up security in the city."

The Government Railway Police (GRP) and Railway Protection Force (RPF) conducted strict security checks at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT). Mumbai police spokesperson DCP Pranay Ashok said, "Keeping the city's safety in mind, we have deployed over 40,000 police personnel on the streets, which includes Special Reserve Police Force (SRPF), Riot Control Unit, Armed Force, QRT, Special Branch, Crime Branch, BDDS, traffic cops, and home guards. Special checking has been going on at crowded locations like Juhu Chowpatty, Mantralaya, Gateway of India, Girgaon Chowpatty and at mall.

Also Read: Mumbai trio in Jammu to hoist Indian flag

Our teams are also keeping an eye on CCTV footage of the sensitive locations." He added, "BDDS teams had already conducted checks of several important locations. We have initiated nakabandis and combing operations. The cops are also checking lodges and hotels and their guest lists to ensure no anti-social elements are present. Meanwhile, we also appeal to the people to use the 100 number, Twitter and SMS to reach us in case they notice anything untoward or suspicious." Ravindra Sengaonkar, GRP commissioner, said, "We are conducting checks in coordination with RPF at various stations to ensure passenger safety."

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    Bombay High Court at Fort: In the rooms of the High Court, barrister Mohammad Ali Jinnah fought the case for Lokmanya Tilak in 1908, on charges of sedition. Tilak's comment on the verdict can be seen on the walls of the Court. Another young barrister, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, also practised here before devoting himself to India's freedom struggle

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    Azad Maidan at Fort: During the days of India's freedom struggle, massive protest rallies were organised by freedom fighters and leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri at this maidan, hence, the name 'Azad Maidan' (Azad means 'free')

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    Gowalia Tank Maidan (known as August Kranti Maidan) at Tardeo: This is where Mahatma Gandhi issued the Quit India speech on August 8, 1942, announcing that the British must leave India immediately or else mass agitations would take place. Gandhi's call for the nation was that of "Do or Die". The call mobilised the citizens to a huge Civil Disobedience movement as the British refused to grant independence till the War was over

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    Mani Bhavan at Gamdevi: It was from Mani Bhavan that Mahatma Gandhi initiated Satyagraha against the Rowlatt Act and propagated the causes of Swadeshi, Khadi and Hindu-Muslim unity. From 1917 to 1934, it was the hub of Gandhi's political activities in Mumbai. In 1955, the building was dedicated as a memorial to Gandhi and to the important activities of great significance that he initiated from this place

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    Asiatic Society Town Hall at Fort: This is where Queen Victoria's proclamation in 1858 took place, which followed on the heels of the Indian Mutiny. Under the Proclamation, the East India Company was abolished, the task of administering the country was formally transferred to the Crown and India became a colony of the British Raj

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    Lion Gate at Shahid Bhagat Singh Road: The Royal Indian Navy mutiny (also called the Bombay Mutiny) was a revolt by Indian sailors on board ship and shore establishment at Bombay (Mumbai) harbour on February 18, 1946. The Lion Gate was one of the spots to witness this. Inspired with nationalist fervour, poor conditions and tired of being bossed around by British officers, the sailors revolted. From the initial start point in Mumbai, the revolt spread from Karachi to Kolkata and ultimately involved 78 ships, 20 shore establishments and 20,000 sailors

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    Jinnah House at Malabar Hill: It was at this colonial bungalow of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, that the Gandhi-Jinnah talks of September 1944 were held

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    The Gateway of India at Apollo Bunder: The departure of the British took place in 1948 under the arches of the Gateway and the First Battalion of the Somerset Light Infantry was the last British contingent that formally departed India

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    Chowpatty Beach at Marine Drive: It is related to the famous Dandi March, launched to protest the salt tax imposed by the British. Since Gandhi had forbidden women from accompanying him on the Dandi March to Sabarmati in 1930, thousands of women in Mumbai led by freedom fighters Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay and the Captain Sisters, decided to make salt at the Chowpatty

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    Horniman Circle at Fort: It is named after Ben Horniman, the pro-independence editor, who spoke against the British atrocities on Indians, especially in connection with the Jallianwalla Baug massacre

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    Sardar Gruha at Crawford Market: This historical structure is where Lokmanya Tilak, one of the stalwarts of the freedom movement, lived and died. It still houses the office of his Kesari newspaper and a majestic white bust

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Independence Day 2019: Mumbai and Gujarat Police practice parade near Mantralaya together

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