Lucknow, Feb 1 :
Security at BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s rally in Meerut Sunday has been tightened, with an inspector general of police being made in charge of a political rally for the first time.
The security has been stepped up in view of the communal riots in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli in Uttar Pradesh last year.
A number of police personnel have been deployed. Besides bomb disposal squads, metal detectors have been set up to secure Modi’s rally, officials said.
Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Mukul Goel told IANS that security for Modi’s rally has been tightened.
He also said the Inspector General (IG) Meerut has been assigned the charge of the security at Meerut.
This is for the first time that a high-ranking official has been assigned with the duty of a political rally.
Officials said two superintendent of police (SP), 10 additional SPs, 20 deputy SPs, 12 inspectors, 150 sub-inspectors, 450 constables, 22 traffic sub-inspectors, 15 traffic head constables and 10 companies of Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) have been sent from the headquarters in Lucknow.
Also, 20 hand-held metal detectors, 25 door-framed metal detectors, three anti-sabotage teams, two bomb disposal squads and two commando units of the anti-terrorist squad have also been dispatched for the rally venue.
Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) has taken over the rally venue for the past one week and the area is being sanitised, an official said.
Political parties expect Modi to speak on the Muzaffarnagar communal riots that left 63 dead and thousands homeless.
The Akhilesh Yadav-led government has been slammed for poor rehabilitation and for its failure to contain the riots. The Samajwadi Party (SP) government has in turn blamed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for inciting communal passions.
The Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Congress have alleged the riots were a result of an understanding between BJP and SP.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has so far maintained a studied silence on the riots and party insiders say that he might finally speak his mind at the rally.
Former Mumbai police chief Satyapal Singh, who quit service, may join the BJP at the rally.