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Watertight security in Chennai for cricketers

December 08, 2008 18:14 IST

Highest levelĀ anti-terror measures, with deployment of over 5,000 personnel, including 300 commandos, will be in place to provide water-tight security to England and India teams in Chennai for the first cricket Test, beginning Thursday.

The state police have put in place top reaction teams, like Special Task Force and Rapid Action Force, at the teams' hotel and the periphery of the pavilion at the stadium.

Joint-Commissioner of Police P Balasubramaniam said elaborate arrangements will be there at the hotel, where both the teams will be staying, and roads leading to the stadium.

"We are deploying over 5,000 people at the hotel and stadium. We have positioned 300 commandos at the hotel and 1000 police personnel at outer periphery of the hotel have been deployed since yesterday [Sunday] morning. These men will be at job till the teams leave the city," he said.

"2000 police personnel, including highest level officers will be doing duty at the stadium from today till December 15, the last day of the Test, for smooth and successful conduct of the match," he added.

About the teams' travel from the hotel to the stadium, he said an emergency route has been chalked out for the purpose.

"We have in place emergency routes from hotel to stadium and back. We do not want to reveal them. We have made elaborate arrangements in this regard too. Our traffic police will clear the route at short notice whenever the emergency route is to be used," Balasubramaniam said.

"Police have installed Central access control system at vantage points and the players' viewing area and also at the team hotel. The players, on their arrival here tonight [in Chennai on Monday night], will be advised to restrict their movements outside the hotel area.

"The buses of the players will have pilots with commando police and a strong escort which will be led by an officer of Additional Director General of police," he said.

Balasubramaniam said the English team was convinced to go ahead with the tour after expressing some security concerns and getting them addressed by both the BCCI and the Tamil Nadu police.

"Due to the Mumbai blast, the England team officials wanted assurance from us on security issues, and after we also gave plan of security cover in writing they were convinced to tour for the two-match series."

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