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WC semi-final: Mohali converted into armed fortress

Chandigarh, Mon, 28 Mar 2011 ANI

Chandigarh, Mar. 28 (ANI): With the Prime Ministers' of India and Pakistan announcing their intentions to watch the World Cup semi-final match between the teams of the two countries here on Wednesday afternoon, the cities of Mohali and Panchkula have virtually been converted into armed garrisons to counter any form of attack on leaders, players and the general public.


Anti-aircraft guns have been mounted at strategic locations and Mohali has been declared a no-fly zone.


The city is said to be completely secure in anticipation of the VIP visit on Wednesday.


The Indian Air Force (IAF) has put its helicopters on standby for air surveillance and fighter jets at the Ambala Air Force Base have been alerted to scramble in the event of an emergency.


The multi-tier security system includes personnel from the Special Protection Group (SPG), the National Security Guard (NSG), and central and state police forces.


The National Technical Research Organization (NTRO) has also been roped in for specialized technical intelligence gathering.


The NTRO is tasked with air surveillance and is expected to use an Israeli-made unmanned air vehicle during the duration of the match.


The Punjab Cricket Association Stadium at Mohali will be completely under the command and control of central security and administrative agencies from March 29 to 30. The main internal security mechanism will be in the hands of SPG. Pakistani security will coordinate with SPG.


Special teams of elite NSG commandos armed with Heckler and Koch 9mm MP-5 sub-machine guns, corner shot guns, Glock 17 or Sig Sauer pistols and poison-tipped knives, would take charge of the outer field. Some of these sophisticated weapons were purchased by the NSG following the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. The remaining layers of the security would be handled by Central and state police forces.


Snipers were deployed on Sunday on all high-rise buildings adjoining Hotel Taj-17, where players of both teams are staying.(ANI)


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