The Mumbai Police Wednesday put in place bandobast at the Chaityabhoomi in Shivaji Park as people have started gathering at the ground in large numbers to pay respect to B R Ambedkar ahead of his death anniversary on Friday. Apart from the local police and paramilitary forces, the police have also deployed a special squad, who will be at the ground in plain clothes.
Lakhs of Ambedkar’s followers come to the city to pay tribute to the leader every year and police personnel are deployed accordingly. On Wednesday, the police deployed over 500 personnel at the ground.
“Around 10,000 people have already arrived at Chaityabhoomi. We have deployed 555 personnel during day time and 447 personnel during night time to enforce bandobast. We have also deployed 100 of our personnel who will be in plain clothes and will be keeping an eye out for any untoward incident from happening. They will also come to the aid of children who get separated from their families. There are a lot of cases every year, in which children get lost due to the large number of people present at the ground,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police Dhananjay Kulkarni, Zone 5.
The police have also called in four companies of the State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) as well as two squads of the Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS) to assist with the bandobast. While the SRPF will be on stand by to provide back-up in case of emergencies, the BDDS squad will be stationed at various points at Chaityabhoomi. Police personnel deployed at the ground have been given instructions to bring any suspicious or unclaimed objects to the notice of the BDDS immediately, officials said. Kulkarni added that the bandobast would remain in place till Saturday night.
BMC gears up to house 10 lakh visitors, sets up 1-lakh sq ft pandal
To accommodate over 10 lakh visitors who are expected to turn up at Chaityabhoomi in Shivaji Park to pay respect to B R Ambedkar on his 57th death anniversary, BMC is setting up a pandal measuring one lakh sq feet at the park.
“We have erected bamboo barricades along 2,000 meters from Bengal Chemicals to Chaityabhoomi to control the crowds,” said a senior official of the F/North ward office.
BMC has also put up tents in Chaityabhoomi and installed halogen lights, tubelights and fans inside them. Around 150 toilets have been constructed behind the Indu Mills compound