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ICC Note

Security preparations for Christian institutions during upcoming Hindu festival reveal real threat of persecution. (02/09/06) – Special security cover will be provided to 182 Christian institutions in this tribal-dominated district to avert any communal clash during the RSS-sponsored Shabari Kumbh Mela, to be held from February 11 to 13.

Group patrolling has been intensified in all the 311 villages of the district, said Dangs Superintendent of Police B K Srimali.

He said the entire area has been divided into three zones–Subir, Ahwa and Wagai–and a tight security blanket will cover these zones.

Additional Director General of Police V K Gupta has been camping here to supervise the entire security arrangements.

”Apart from him, two special DGPs are also here to monitor the situation,” Mr Srimali told UNI.

Six Superintendents of Police, including two women, 17 Dy SPs, 58 Police Inspectors, 202 Police Sub-Inspectors, 152 Head Constables, and 38 women police Constables have been stationed here to look after the security arrangements. Eleven companies of State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) and two companies of Rapid Action Force (RAF) have also been deployed, he said.

In addition, 545 Homeguards, 23 women Gramrakshak Dals and 20 mounted policemen will form patrol parties and keep vigil in the villages.

Security equipment like hand-held metal detectors and door-frame metal detectors have been provided to the forces, Mr Shrimali said.

He said a total of 182 Christian institutions have been identified and they would be given special security cover.

Around five lakh people are expected for the mela.

Special DGP S K Parmar said that the pilgrims coming for the Kumbh mela would not be allowed to concentrate at a single point and so it will not be difficult to control them.

Those coming from the neighbouring states. like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and other parts of Gujarat could enter Dangs through different points and parking arrangements have been provided accordingly, he added.

In 1998 anti-Christian violence, some churches and schools were set ablaze by the miscreants.