West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress is slated to hold Shahid Divas rally at Esplanade on Saturday, and it is expected to be attended by more than 10 lakh people. To be presided over by the Trinamool Congress chief, lakhs of people have already arrived in Kolkata from different parts of the state. The event is scheduled to begin at 11 am.
Shahid divas or Matryr’s Day is an annual event organised by the Trinamool Congress on July 21 every year, in the memory of 13 people who were killed in police firing in the year 1993. Mamata Banerjee was then the leader of West Bengal Youth Congress and the Left Front was ruling West Bengal.
Mamata Banerjee had launched a ‘Writers Chalo Andolan’ – march to the West Bengal secretariat – demanding that the voters’ identity card be made the only document to allow people to cast their votes. Police had opened fired at the agitators, killing at least 13 of them.
According to political analysts, the Trinamool Congress supremo is likely to sound the bugle for the Lok Sabha elections in 2019.
To ensure smooth organisation of the event, the Kolkata Police has chalked out elaborate security arrangements while the traffic police department has also taken all measures to keep the city snarl free during the grand event.
Sources told Zee News that a total of 6,000 police personnel have been deployed across the city while at least 40 police pickets have been put in place. Apart from this, five watch towers have been set up for round-the-clock monitoring of the crowd.
The administration has also installed more than 100 additional CCTV cameras in different part of the city to monitor the crowd. Similar arrangements have also been made at the venue of the event. As many as 18 ambulances are expected to be positioned around the venue.
Three Quick Response Teams (QRT), Heavy Radio Flying Squads (HRFS) and four teams of Reserve Force from Kolkata Police will also keep an eye on the law and order situation across Kolkata. A sub-control room has also been set up on the terrace of the Victoria House (CESC building), beside the venue, to keep a close watch on the movement of people. Bomb squad and Dog squad will be stationed near the venue.
Roads to avoid:
Dorina Crossing, Rani Rash Moni Avenue, SN Banerjee Road, Chowringhee Road, JL Nehru Road, Park Street, Central Avenue, Hastings, Queens Way, Babu Ghat and Lenin Sarani
Roads to take:
# All Howrah station-bound vehicles take Vidyasagar Setu
# All airport-bound vehicles take AJC Bose-Maa flyover
# MG Road, AJC Bose Road, APC Road are also free for vehicular movement
Roads for packing vehicles:
Strand Road, Strand Bank Road, Amherst Street, CIT Road, Clive Row, Napier Road, Hastings.
Metro train security arrangements:
As many as 350 Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel, including commandos, have been deployed at different metro stations to avoid any untoward incident amid the rush. Also, apart from the daily deployment of 250 staff members, an additional 104 security personnel will be posted at 14 Metro stations.
Extra emphasis has been laid on some metro stations – Esplanade, Dum Dum, Shyambazar, Chandni Chowk, Park Street, Maidan, Rabindra Sadan and Netaji Bhawan.
The entire arrangement will be monitored by the Kolkata Metro's assistant security commissioner from the security control room at Metro Rail Bhavan.