Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Puri, Jul 15:
Odisha Police today conducted a mock drill at the reserve police lines here to fine-tune its crowd control techniques to ensure a safe and sound Rath Yatra on July 18.
“The police administration usually takes care of the safety of the chariots and manages the crowd when the chariot is on the move. We usually conduct a mock drill to review the preparedness. Today’s drill was focused on that. We tested our techniques on keeping the chariot under control by cordoning it so that the devotees don’t get too close to it, managing the rope of the chariot and deciding how much of rope should be left for devotees, managing the braking needs of the chariot and managing the crowd while the chariot is being pulled etc,” said Officer on Special Duty for Nabakalebara Soumendra Priyadarshi.
“In the inner and outer cordon of the chariot, we are trying to deploy jawans and officers with prior experience in doing duty during Rath Yatra and physical capability. Apart from Rapid Action Force (RAF), we are going to station 11-12 platoons of force around each chariot while they are being pulled. We are also deploying 30 platoons of force in multiple sections of Badadanda to manage the crowd. This is a special arrangement made this year,” he added.
The drill was supervised by Police DG Sanjeev Marik, Priyadarshi, executive magistrate, Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) authorities and other senior officials.