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VVIP visits over-burden already short-staffed Ahmedabad police

With the city hosting one mega event after another recently, city police have been on their toes almost round the year.

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Ritesh Shah

Updated: Mar 26, 2011, 05:34 PM IST

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With the city hosting one mega event after another recently, city police have been on their toes almost round the year. Apart from their usual duty of maintaining the law and order and chasing outlaws, they have been busy securing the VVIPs and their protocol these days.

Moreover, frequent terror alerts make the duty of the department which is facing 30% staff shortage even tougher with cops saying that special deployments are making their job more painful. 

The cops had been working overtime since the beginning of this week to ensure a safe passage of high-voltage India-Australia quarter final match of the ongoing World Cup at Motera.

Just a day after the match on Thursday, more than a 1,000 cops again took guards at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) ahead of the prime minister's visit on Saturday.

According to police, the movement of VVIPs in the city is rising rapidly. The data obtained from traffic police show that in 2010, chief minister Narendra Modi's convoy alone drover on city roads 450 times in a year.

While police deployment had to be made for between 150 to 200 times for BJP leader LK Advani, special security arrangements had be put in place for former president APJ Abdul Kalam and state's governor Kamlaji for almost 200 occasions each.

Apart from the VVIP movement, various events have engaged the city cops like never before. The cops say that five years back the bandobast was minimal as there used to take place very few national or local events in the city at which VVIPs used to show up.

However, today, the city hosts a number of such events.
"Terror threats during festivals such as Holi, Diwali, Navratri, and Ramzan, among others, have added new dimensions to security arrangements during those days. In fact, the bandobast has become a painful job for the whole department," moans a senior police official.

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