Heavy bandobast for first open-air oath ceremony at Mumbai's Wankhede stadium

Oct 30, 2014, 06:39 IST | Vinay Dalvi

With almost 5,000 VIPs expected to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the state’s new CM, Mumbai police, along with national security agencies are preparing for D-day

Security preparations at Wankhede stadium for the by invitation-only swearing-in ceremony of the new Chief Minister are now in high gear. While Mumbai police says they are yet to receive the guest list from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for Friday evening, the lavish event is expected to be attended by several VVIPs and VIPs from the state and country.

Police officials are expected to deploy more than 2,000 personnel at the stadium on D-day. Pic/PTI
Police officials are expected to deploy more than 2,000 personnel at the stadium on D-day. Pic/PTI

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to attend the ceremony. We have been holding several meetings with elite security agencies like Special Protection Unit (SPU), which takes care of the PM’s security, along with other agencies for security arrangements,” said Krishna Prakash, the additional commissioner of police (South region).

Police officials are expected to deploy more than 2,000 personnel at the stadium on D-day and close to 150 sub-inspectors, 60 inspectors, 15 assistant commissioners of police and 5 deputy commissioners of police, led by the commissioner of police, Rakesh Maria and joint commissioner of police, Sadanand Date.

Sources revealed that the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Special Protection Units have already arrived at the stadium to keep a close eye ahead of the ceremony on Friday.

Seating arrangement
Cops are planning to create a no parking zone near the stadium and vehicles of invitees are to be parked near the BJP office at Nariman Point and near the ground of Mumbai Hockey Association.

“The BJP is planning to invite around 30,000 people, out of which 25,000 will be seated in the stadium chairs and the 5,000 VIPs, like ministers of other BJP-ruled states, central ministers, BJP MLAs, Bollywood celebrities, industrialists like the Ambanis, etc. will be seated on the ground,” said a police official.

The stage will be divided into three parts, with Devendra Fadnavis seated at the centre, along with the governor and the PM on either sides, while the remaining VVIPs will be seated around them. “Snipers will be placed on all nearby buildings to keep a watch.

Everything is expected to be in place before 4 pm as Narendra Modi will visit the stadium and no one will be allowed to enter the place before it. Vinoo Mankad gate will be reserved for the entry of the CM designate, governor and Prime Minister,” informed a police official.

Mumbai police has also declared the stadium to be a no-fly zone during the ceremony. Bomb detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS) along with the Dog Squad has been carrying out regular checks of the stadium. Cops are likely to impose nakabandis at entry points of the city. Only workers with ID cards will be allowed inside the stadium.

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