Modi to visit Kolkata under ‘extreme caution’


Kolkata: Ahead of PM Modi’s Kolkata visit,  an al-Qaida video that is in connection to Modi has put security agencies on high alert. ahead of the PM’svisit to Kolkata on May 9. Sources said that the video, put out by the “Indian Arm” of al-Qaida, names Modi for the first time. Incidentally, the same group has claimed responsibility of the murder of Bangladeshi blogger Avijit Roy. The Central misnistry has ordered Kolkata Police to exercise “extreme caution” and Lalbazar officers are already busy deciding routes for the PM’s convoy.

“We are reviewing security across the districts, too, and might have to shut down sections of some roads that day. Just like the recent bandh, which coincided with a KKR match at Eden, we will have to ensure that we have maximum presence in central and south Kolkata all through the day,” said an officer at the headquarters.

Kolkata Police has its task cut out because there is a KKR match even on the day of the PM’s visit. There’s going to be a sell-out crowd. Deployment of forces at Nazrul Manch on Saturday evening might equal that at Eden Gardens, said an officer. “That would mean about 20,000 cops on the road. Our men did double shift on the April 30 Bengal Bandh. The same thing will be repeated,” a top source in Lalbazar said. Sources said that Kolkata Police will fine-tune the security details once SPG — the elite commandos who protect the PM — lands in Kolkata on May 6.

“We have been asked to enforce three to five layers of security, depending on the areas the PM will visit. While the innermost cordon will definitely belong to SPG, we will be deputing men from the Special Branch, STF (anti-terror force) and the detective department as spotters in the second ring. We have an idea of his schedule but it is the SPG that will review the security at each of these spaces and give the go ahead,” said a source in the home department, adding that additional police forces may have to be roped in from Howrah if Modi decided to visit Belur Math. “We are in touch with Belur Math authorities,” he added.