Sena chief slams top cop’s mandal ‘fatwa’
“If Ganesh mandals have to protect the women devotees, then why is there a need for police?” Uddhav was quoted as saying in a statement.
Satyapal Singh had on Saturday said that “It is the responsibility of the pandal organisers to ensure that female devotees, who would flock to take blessings of the Ganesha, should not be eve-teased or molested. If any incident like this occurs, it would go against pandal organisers.”
The top police official also said that if pandals failed to ensure safety of women devotees they might not be allowed to organise the event next year. “Satyapal’s fatwa is stupid and reeks of arrogance,” said Uddhav, charging that such diktats were issued only regarding festivals celebrated by Hindus and not on those celebrated by Muslims like Id and Moharram.
“If police are not able to protect women, then Shiv Sena has been taking the responsibility to protect women and will continue to do so,” the Sena leader asserted.
10 watchtowers set up to boost security at Lalbaugcha Raja
The Mumbai police have erected 10 watchtowers around the Lalbaugcha Raja’s pandal to keep an eye on any suspicious movements.
“Ten trained constables carrying automatic weapons, walkie-talkies and binoculars have been deployed at these watchtowers round the clock during the 10-day Ganeshotsav at Lalbaugcha Raja,” said Dattatray Karale, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone IV).
As many as 35 closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras have been installed at the pandal to keep a close watch on movement of devotees. Two temporary CCTV control rooms have been set up on the premises of the mandal and each control room will be monitored by a police officer and three constables.
“More than 100 police personnel in plain clothes, including women cops, have been deployed inside the pandal to keep an eye on eve-teasers, molesters, chain-snatchers and mobile thieves,” Karale said.
Besides three to four companies each of Rapid Action Force (RAF), State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) and Quick Response Team (QRT) have been deployed. The local police comprising four DCPs, seven ACPs, 80 PIs and 1,500 constables, including 400 women cops, under the direct supervision police commissioner Dr Satyapal Singh, will maintain round clock security around the Lalbaugcha Raja.
More than 300 private security guards have been assisting the local police to maintain security at the venue.
Besides police personnel in uniform, personnel from the Anti-Terrorism Squad, Special Branch and Protection branch of the Mumbai police have made elaborate security arrangement for the Lalbaugcha Raja during the 10-day festival.