Team hotel under impregnable security cover

Published: Wednesday, November 28, 2007, 3:35 [IST]
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Kolkata: With the e-mail threat staring the touring Pakistan team, the team hotel here has been converted into a fortress with every inch of the sprawling five-star accommodation under electronic surveillance.

Joint Commissioner (Administration) P K Chatterjee told UNI at Taj Bengal hotel today, '' We have taken all possible security measures. There is no room for any mistake. '' Both Indian and Pakistan teams entered the hotel in the afternoon.

The RAF personnel were manning the four entry points and on both floors of the hotel where teams are put up. Also the Quick Reaction Teams, SAF personnel and Bomb Disposal squad were deployed.

Earlier, the entire hotel had been sanitised with metal detectors and sniffer dogs, and the vantage points not only in and around the hotel, but also the route the teams will take to the stadium had been put under close watch.

''Keeping in mind the e-mail threat, we have appointed Deputy Commissioner (Reserve Force) Dilip Banerjee to oversee the security measures, and four other IPS officers will be assisting him. ''This time in addition to the metal detectors we have arranged for baggage scanners like we find in the airports to see the baggages. ''

'' Last night the police officials came and checked every inch of Eden Gardens. There is a strong posse of policemen around the greens and also at every gate of the stadium. Construction workers entering the stadium for the renovation work and otherwise is being frisked. We have also beefed up our internal security system. None is taking any chance," CAB Joint Secretary Samar Pal told reporters here today,

The Kolkata Police top brass held a marathon meeting at the Lalbazar police headquarters last night to finalise the security arrangements. The meeting, headed by Police Commissioner Gautam Mohan Chakraborty, was attended by Joint CPs S N Sarkar, Zulfikar Hasan, Sudhir Mishra and Pradip Chatterjee and Deputy Commissioners Vishal Garg and Vineet Goyel.

The extraordinary arrangements have been initiated after an e-mail landed at a private TV channel office threatening a countrywide terror strike if the Indo-Pak series was not abandoned. The fresh e-mail that came from guru _boys2000@yahoo.com warned of a series of explosions in Chennai, Ghaziabad, New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Islamabad and an attack on the Pakistani cricket team.

The two page e-mail, sent from a yahoo server, was received by a private TV channel which forwarded it to the Kolkata Police last evening.

Meanwhile, the Indian and Pakistani teams today landed at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International airport, sans 10 players, and were whisked away in two buses to the hotel.

Cricket-enthusiasts and mediapersons, who had gathered at the airport, could hardly catch a glimpse of the teams as the two buses moved to the VIP gate and were escorted by armed convoys to a five-star hotel in South Kolkata.

While in the Indian team, Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, Dinesh Karthik, Murali Karthik and VVS Laxman, along with fielding coach Robin Singh, are scheduled to arrive tomorrow, S Sreesanth and R P Singh will come on November 30.

The Pakistan team arrived without Mohammed Yousuf and Danish Kaneria.

Malik, Akhtar and Misbah fit to play : Meanwhile Pak team local manager Sultan Ahmed clarified this afternoon that none of the three players - skipper Shoaib Malik, speedster Shoaib Akhtar and batsman Misbah-ul-Haq - had been hospitalised.

Talking to UNI, Mr Ahmed said a medical van carrying doctors from the Apollo Gleneagals came to Taj Bengal hotel, where both India and Pakistan teams were staying, to check the three players.

He stated that the condition of all the three was stated to be stable.


Read more about: pakistan, security, kolkata, email threat
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