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Rediff.com  » Cricket » No threat to Kotla pitch: Delhi police

No threat to Kotla pitch: Delhi police

Last updated on: April 14, 2005 15:05 IST

The Delhi police has stepped up security measures at the Ferozshah Kotla in view of threats being held out by Shiv Sainiks, that they would dig up the pitch in protest against sporting links with Pakistan at a time when the cross border terrorism continues.

Jai Bhagwan Goel, chairman of the Delhi Shiv Sena, had, at a press conference in Delhi on Tuesday, threatened to dig up the pitch.

Speaking to rediff.com, Delhi police spokesman Ravi Pawar said, "We know how to deal with Jai Bhavan Goel and his hoodlums. We shall not allow any damage to the pitch. We had started cordoning off the stadium last week itself, and as the day of the match, April 17, approaches we will further augment our security arrangements."

Over 3000 security personnel will be on duty on the day of the match as Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf will be amongst the distinguished guests at the sixth and last One-Day International between India and Pakistan.

Close circuit cameras have already been installed at several places to keep an eye on developments at the venue. Visitors to the Kotla would have to go through several metal detectors and be physically screened. Those without an identity card will not be permitted to enter the venue.

On Tuesday, the Special Protection Group took charge of the Kotla and started sanitizing the place. Sniffer dogs were also pressed into service.

The Delhi and District Cricket Association has erected a special bullet-proof glass enclosure, from where Musharraf and Dr Singh would watch the match for an hour-and-a half during the pre-lunch session.

Onkar Singh in Delhi