KOZHIKODE: Mangaluru city and Dakshina Kannada district are under a tight security cover as Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan goes there on February 25 to address a communal harmony meeting organised by the CPM amidst a hartal call by Sangh Parivar organisations. Mangaluru city police commissioner M. Chandra Sekhar told media that as many as 2,000 cops will be deputed with strict vigilance on the programme venue at Nehru ground and inter-state border. Section 144 has been imposed in Mangaluru city commissionerate.
However, it will not be applicable for the Aikyatha Rall of the CPM. The programme will be held from 2.30 pm to 6 pm. Six police officers in the cadre of SP, 10 DySPs, 120 police inspectors and 20 platoons drawn from outside the district form a part of the security ring. That apart, a total of 600 cameras were installed at strategic locations including the border area, followed by six drone cameras to keep a tab on the movements. Importantly, the commissioner clarified that the organisations (VHP, Bajrang Dal) which have called for hartal have executed bonds, giving undertakings that they will not resort to any type of illegal activities and violence.
In addition, 120 history-sheeters have executed bonds valued at Rs 5 lakh and Rs 10 lakh, giving an undertaking that they will not indulge in violence. In case of any violations, the police will swing into action, the top cop added. A total of 17 checkposts were set up on Vitla junction. Over 100 handicams will be used to record movements, he added. The police commissioner quoted the Supreme Court order upholding the order of Kerala High Court to hold organisations concerned liable in case of damage to properties during protest or hartal. Police officers also cautioned the people against heeding rumours on social networking sites, which they described as the trigger for any problem.
Stating in unambiguous terms that police is committed to tackle any eventualities, the commissioner clarified that the law enforcing agencies are also not against any protest within the purview of democracy. Earlier, Sangh organisations had called for Bandh and now the word has been changed to ‘Hartal’. The hartal supporters are calling people to voluntarily observe hartal as a protest against CPM sponsored political killings in Kannur. A local office of CPM was torched on Wednesday night at Thokkotu near Mangaluru. The programme will start at 3 pm at Nehru ground and close to 10,000 CPM workers are expected to take part. CM has another programme near Mangalure railway station at 11 am.