UNDER VIGIL: Cops will be posted near the Gateway to screen vessels
Mumbai: The police have ordered their officers to video record the points from where people going to party at the sea board and alight boats, jetties and other vessels on the New Year’s Eve.
“We have issued circulars to all police personnel who are responsible for the sea security to video those going into the sea to ring in the New Year,” said a senior officer.
The police will also write to the Mumbai port trust asking them to instal permanent rooms to frisk people taking the sea route. Also, all jetties have been instructed to instal bag scanners. The police may ask party organizers to submit copies of the event recordings. It would be the first time after the 26/11 terror attacks in 2008 that cruise parties, if any, would be organized. After the attacks which claimed 166 lives, the police had been refusing permission to commercial cruise parties. As a routine practice, police personnel will be posted at five jetties near Gateway of India to screen vessels coming from Mandwa and Alibaug. All 17 boats of the coastal police will patrol the sea as the force is responsible for security till five nautical miles off the city’s coast. “Though the Indian Navy and Coast Guard have their own style of functioning, we too have jurisdiction in the waters. Our priority is that New Year parties in the sea should be safe,” said the officer.
“Following the 26/11 attacks and denial of permission for parties in the sea for several years, organizers are increasingly moving to Goa where getting a licence is easier than here and threat perception is less. We are tightening security,” said an official.
While the entry and exit for men and women will be different, small ships and ferry wharfs will not be allowed to take people into the sea at night. “Police permission will be necessary. Their business during daytime will go on as usual, but for night celebrations, there will be some restrictions,” said the officer said.
The Times of India, December 26, 2013