The meeting – held in the context of the Easter bombings in Colombo that killed at least 10 people from Karnataka – saw some 500 people gather at the commissioner’s office at Infantry Road. Officials said that a meeting of this magnitude, involving representatives of several religious groups, was unprecedented.
While Kumar stressed that the meeting’s agenda was for general awareness, participants TOI spoke to said they had been instructed to put adequate security measures in place at all of their establishments. . Although it was not possible to independently verify whether there was a specific threat to Bengaluru, or whether intelligence had been shared, Kumar said: “There is no specific threat.”
The commissioner, while warning that criminals could take advantage of the night to plant things, said people need to equip their properties with adequate lighting and other measures. âBengaluru has a population of 1.25 crore; that means 2.5 crore eyes. We want them all to be vigilant, âKumar said.
Police have advised people to set up their own security systems to control any suspicious people entering prayer rooms or hotels, and to check luggage on a daily basis.
He said the police department had proposed the creation of an anti-terrorism cell (ATC) that would work specifically on terrorist threats in Bengaluru, while helping to investigate other cases. âWe will make it work as soon as we get government approval,â Kumar said.
Instructions given to participants included installing CCTV cameras, employing private agencies or deploying security volunteers.
Hotels and shopping malls were specifically urged to install Door Frame Metal Detectors (DFMDs) and provide guards with enough Handheld Metal Detectors (HHMDs) and baggage scanners to use at entrances and exits.
In addition, hotels, lodges and others have been mandated to require identification documents from those seeking accommodation, while their representatives, managers and security officials have been urged to keep in contact with local police.
Aktar Pasha, who represented a mosque in Begur, south-east Bengaluru, while appreciating the initiative, said: âThese precautions will be helpful in avoiding untoward incidents in Bengaluru. The commissioner suggested that we strengthen security and remain vigilant. We were asked to verify the identity of strangers and report suspicious activity. We will certainly adopt these suggestions to save people from the activities of anti-national elements. ”
Kumar said these arrangements should be made as a priority with long-term safety in mind not only of the establishments but also of the city.