Delhi Police steps up security for Ramlila celebrations

New Delhi, Oct 2: With people soaked in Navratri spirit, Delhi Police has made tight security arrangements in the walled city which is home to some of the oldest Ramlila celebrations.

In the wake of the Uri attack and intelligence inputs of a terror threat to the capital, Delhi Police has ramped up security at places that see high footfall.

The three Ramlilas that are held in the Lal Quila Maidan in front of the iconic Red Fort, together annually see a gathering of over 50,000 per day during Navratri season and climbs to more than a lakh on the day of Dussehra.

The officials of North District have held meetings with the Lav Kush Ramlila Committee, Shri Dharmic Leela Committee and Nav Shri Dharmik Lila Committee, to apprise them of the security arrangements.

"We have asked the Ramlila organisers to ensure that there are fixed entry, exit and emergency gates, so that entry
of people can be regulated. We have asked them to ensure proper frisking of people. There are DFMDs installed at the
entry points," said DCP (North) Madhur Verma.

He said this time, they have also stationed men on 'rooftops'.

Explaining this, he said, "Our people will be stationed on the terraces of high buildings in Lala Lajpat Rai Market so that people cannot use those areas to target the Ramlila to create panic," he said, adding there will also be armed policemen stationed at the Ramlilas with automatic weapons.

The three Ramlilas, on their part, also claim to have made adequate security arrangements to ensure that the
festivities are not affected.

"Earlier we had a grill surrounding the Ramlila ground but now we have covered it with an iron sheet so that
outsiders cannot see what is happening inside and they cannot target anybody inside," said Arjun Kumar, secretary, Lav Kush
Ramlila Committee.

Kumar said they have increased the number of volunteers from 400 to 600 and hired 50 security guards and 20 bouncers
and the number might be increased keeping in mind the high footfall on weekends and the day of Ravan-dahan.

He said there are 60 CCTV cameras installed at strategic locations to keep an eye over the proceedings.

There are night vision cameras installed by Nav Shri Dharmik Leela Committee so that there is a hawk-eye vigil.

"We have installed revolving cameras and night vision cameras so that there is clear footage recorded from all the
strategic locations like entry and exit points, place where the crowd sits and watches the Ramlila and eating area.

"The number of security guards has been doubled keeping in mind the high alert situation in the capital," said Rahul
Sharma, press secretary, Nav Shri Dharmik Lila Committee. 

"We have increased the number of private security guards from last year and we are working closely with Delhi Police to
ensure that the security arrangements are in place," said Pradeep Sharan, secretary, Shri Dharmic Leela Committee.

PTI