Heavy Kotla security fails to dampen spirit of IPL fans

Sunday, April 18, 2010

NEW DELHI - A day after two low-intensity blasts outside the packed Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore, Delhi Police took no chances Sunday and turned the Ferozeshah Kotla into a fortress for the Indian Premier League (IPL) match between Delhi Daredevils and Deccan Chargers.

There was unprecedented security at the Kotla, something that was not seen in the last six matches. Some 1,600 security personnel, several CCTV cameras and special flying patrol were in action to prevent any untoward activity at the packed Kotla. Six companies of police and private guards have been hired by Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA).

Delhi Police had already taken over the security of the stadium from Saturday night. From scanning machines, X-ray machines and metal detectors, Delhi Police had installed all possible equipments to beef up security at every gate.

A top DDCA official said they have deployed an additional 500 private security guards to keep an eye on spectators so that they cannot throw missiles of any sort at the players.

But despite heavy security, fans packed the stadium to cheer for the Daredevils.

“This is a crucial match for Daredevils. So we had to come out in large numbers. We are happy with the security if it ensures the safety of the fans and players,” said a 24-year-old Rohit Shetty, who had come all the way from Gurgaon.

Fans were not allowed to bring in coins, binoculars, water bottles and food.

“The security is full-proof, but we have no other option. There are valid reasons and it is good that Delhi Police and the organisers are taking every possible step to ensure that no untoward events take place here,” said Harish Menon, a 50-year-old from east Delhi.

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