With Ganesh Chaturthi around the corner preparations for the festival are in full swing. While Goa gets ready to celebrate one of its biggest festivals, the anti-terrorism squad (ATS) in Goa has been put on alert and will keep a watch on suspicious activities and objects, deputy inspector general of police (DIG) Paramaditya said on Wednesday.
“With Goa being a tourist destination, the possibility of a terrorist threat cannot be ruled out,” he said.
Night activities will be increased during the activities and additional personnel, including home guards and volunteers, will be roped in to maintain vigil.
The DIG informed that 51 Sarvajanik (community) Ganesh Mandal pandals, 24 in North Goa and 27 in South Goa have been identified. As each is expected to be frequented by over 1000 to 2000 persons, a watch will be maintained to ensure no terrorist activity or untoward incidents take place, he added.
“We also appeal to the people to report any suspicious person or object left unattended by calling the existing police control room helplines. The director-general of police (DGP) has held a meeting with all the police heads. Seventy-six major pandals in North Goa and 142in South Goa have been identified. All sub-divisional police officers (SDPO) have been asked to hold meetings with organizers of Sarvajanik Ganesh celebrations. They have been asked to have a single entry and exit point so that it is easy to keep a watch on the crowd,” Paramaditya said.
The DIG further stated that while police personnel will be hosted at all major Sarvajanik Ganesh pandals, organizers will also have to appoint private security guards to fortify vigilance.
Paramaditya further added that police officer was instructed to identify parking spaces well in advance to avert snarls in the vicinity of Sarvajanik Ganesh pandals and ensured there would be no congestion near markets that are filled with citizens prior to the festival.
The DIG added that during the festive season, women will be out late at night and police personnel has been requested to see that there are no incidents of chain-snatching, eve-teasing, etc. Further, rowdy elements will be rounded up and reprimanded suitably.
One must be vigilant and keep an eye out for any suspicious behavior so that everyone can enjoy a safe and peaceful Ganesh Chaturthi.