RAF personnel on alert at Gangulys home in Kolkata

Published: Tuesday, February 18, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
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Kolkata: With sentiments running high over the Indian team's disappointing performance in two World Cup matches, the West Bengal government on Tuesday beefed up security at skipper Saurav Ganguly's residence in view of India's match against Zimbabwe on Wednesday. With plainclothesmen posted at Ganguly's Behala residence since last month following threats from a terrorist outfit, Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel were deployed in the surrounding area for quick response in case of need during India's match against Zimbabwe, deputy inspector general of police (headquarters) Narayan Ghosh told reporters.

"People were not happy with the Indian team's showing in the first match against Holland. With the team losing against Australia, the anger has risen. Since our duty is to maintain law and order, we have taken all precautions to provide security at Saurav's residence," Ghosh said. Police stations located in the vicinity have also been alerted, he added. Meanwhile according to a report from Bangalore, prompted by fans' fury in Allahabad and Kolkata, police in Bangalore have deployed their men and are keeping a hawk-eyed vigil around the houses of Indian team vice-captain Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble and Javagal Srinath.

Two policemen each, including one equipped with a wireless set, are posted at the residences of the three cricketers since Monday evening, while a police patrol party moves around keeping an eye on the houses. The security arrangement was put in place a day after angry cricket fans targetted the house of Mohammed Kaif and threw oil and black paint at it in Allahabad and frustrated fans gave vent to their ire in Kolkata burning the effigies of captain Saurav Ganguly.

A top police official however said he did not apprehend any trouble in Bangalore of the type witnessed in Allahabad or Kolkatta but the step has been taken as a precaution. Dravid's family members living in the posh Indiranagar said they had not sought security. "We are not worried. We are absolutely fine," as family sources said.

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