Indian Paramilitary Troopers to Guard Cricket Venues

Top security forces used to protect venues against insurgents, Maoists


New Delhi, Oct 11 -- Contingents of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) will be deployed at venues of the Champions Trophy tournament to guard stadiums and teams.

Police in most states recently informed the ministry of home affairs that it would be difficult for them to provide adequate security to the players and the four venues where the 21 matches would be played.

"We have been asked to send a few companies to Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Mohali and Mumbai as the state governments informed that it would be difficult for them to provide adequate security as their men would be busy maintaining law and order before Diwali," said a senior CRPF official.

The CRPF is a premier force handling internal security of the country. Apart from fighting insurgents in Jammu and Kashmir, its personnel are battling Maoists and insurgency in India's northeastern states.

"Our men have already started work in the stadium and are making temporary structures at strategic points in the stadium," said the official.

Apart from manning the gates, some personnel have also been asked to mingle in the crowd and to be on the look-out for suspicious people, the official added.

Troopers of the country's elite Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) that guards some important airports and atomic power stations were also packing their bags to go to Jaipur.

"Our forces have already left for Jaipur to draw security plans for the India-England match at the Sawai Man Singh stadium on Oct 15. Since cricket is a major draw, we expect a lot of people to come for the match," said a CRPF official.

"We are also deploying 'spotters' at gates and inside the stadium to identify anti-nationals in case there is an attempt to sabotage the game," he said.

"Due to proximity from Delhi, people from the capital are also expected to be in Jaipur for India's first match of the tournament."

Australia and England are scheduled to clash in Jaipur Oct 21, Diwali day. "It would be an important match as it is a national holiday and many people would come for the match," said the official.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Indo-Asian News Service.