Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit on January 15 will be an acid test for the state police. Since the Makaravilakku ceremony at Sabarimala falls the previous day and the department has to spare extra men to step up vigil in and around the shrine, the top officers are working overtime to give extra reinforcement to the PM’s visit.
Nearly 4,500-5,000 policemen are required for the PM’s security duty. The trial run of the security ahead of the premier’s visit will be held on January 14.
For a department which has been stretched to its limit due to the Sabarimala imbroglio, the PM’s arrival is a fresh challenge. Around 8,000 policemen are currently stationed at Sabarimala and the number needs to be enhanced close to Makaravilakku.
Though the ceremony ends on January 14, the policemen need to be in place on January 15 as well, as a lot of devotees will be climbing down the hill.
Top police officers are planning to draw extra forces from other districts to deal with the situation of PM’s visit and Makaravilakku. “The State Police Chief has taken steps to ensure security for both events. Our department has more than 50,000 workforces, so they can handle the situation well,” said DIG K Sethu Raman.
Embers of political and communal tensions are still palpable in several northern districts. “Heavy police presence is required in certain districts to prevent untoward incidents. In that scenario, it has to be seen how the mobilisation of force can be done,” says a senior officer.
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