Security has been beefed up in the city and other areas of West Bengal, particularly in border areas, ahead of the 74th Independence Day on Saturday, senior police officers said.
Some “added arrangements” have also been made in the wake of the militant attack in Jammu and Kashmir in which two policemen were killed on Friday, they said.
“Adequate measures have been taken for the Independence Day programme tomorrow. All entry and exit points of Kolkata have been kept under surveillance. All units have been briefed on the security plan,” Joint Commissioner of Police (Establishment) Gaurav Sharma told PTI.
At least three watch towers have been erected at Red Road, the venue of the official Independence Day celebrations in the city, where Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will unfurl the national flag.
Quick Response Teams, Heavy Radio Flying Squad vans, and members of combat forces of the city police will be present around the venue, Sharma said.
“Drones will also be used to keep a vigil on proceedings in and around the city,” the officer said.
All police stations have been alerted and Naka checkings throughout the city will be stringent as a part of the security arrangements, Sharma said.
Keeping in mind the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, all police personnel including officers will have to wear masks and maintain physical distancing, the IPS officer said.
The sitting arrangements at the Red Road venue have been made keeping in mind the physical distancing factor. The programme would be held before a “nominal” number of spectators, official sources said.
Though not many travellers are coming to the city these days because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the police are keeping an eye on hotels and lodging facilities, Sharma said.
“These establishments are being constantly monitored as we do not want to take any chance. We have sought details of those staying there. All vehicles coming in and going out of the city will be scrutinised. Sand bag bunkers have been set up at several key locations,” another Kolkata Police officer said.
Security arrangements elsewhere in the state have also been enhanced with a focus on its international and state borders, an officer of the West Bengal Police told PTI.
“Foolproof arrangements have been made throughout the state especially in the border areas to avoid any untoward incident,” the officer said.