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FIFA U-17 World Cup: Kolkata Police Ready to Combat Racial Slurs

“There are 260 CCTV cameras strategically placed to keep a close watch on spectators inside and outside the gallery. Each camera is capable of capturing good quality images, video and audio.”

Sujit Nath | News18

Updated:October 5, 2017, 10:42 AM IST
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FIFA U-17 World Cup: Kolkata Police Ready to Combat Racial Slurs
A view of the renovated Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata (Courtesy: FIFA U17 World Cup LOC)
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Kolkata: The Bengal Police, as a precautionary measure, has introduced special measures to prevent cases of racial slurs during the FIFA U-17 World Cup matches to be played at Salt Lake Stadium.

Speaking to News18, Bidhannagar City Police Commissioner, Gyanwant Singh said, “There is a precedent of racial insults being shouted during international sporting events. We are therefore fully prepared to avert any such situation.”

Elaborating further, he said, “There are 260 CCTV cameras strategically placed to keep a close watch on spectators inside and outside the gallery. Each camera is capable of capturing good quality images, video and audio.”

“We have also trained 400 policemen, including 120 women police, who will be known as stewards and will be deployed inside the galleries. All of them were given special communication and crowd management training sessions. Their job will be to assist those who come to watch the matches. The whole idea is to give a homely atmosphere to the people,” he added.

Singh also said that the police were prepared to evacuate a crowd of nearly 65,000 spectators in just eight minutes if the need arises.

“Although this will be a challenge for us, we are confident that this is possible. Our Crisis Response Command System can do pull off the task in case of an emergency. This is why, despite Salt Lake’s maximum seating of 85,000, we are allowing only 65,000 to enter the stadium. The upper third layer is being kept partially empty,” said the Police Commissioner.

Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan or Salt Lake Stadium is the largest in India with a full seating capacity of nearly 85,000. The Stadium was recently renovated with world-class facilities added to it so that international guests and players are in comfort.

The stadium will host the final on October 28, besides some high-profile matches including Chile vs England and Iraq vs Mexico (October 8), England vs Mexico and Iraq vs Chile (October 11), Japan vs New Caledonia and England vs Iraq (October 14).

More than 3,000 policemen including 30 senior officers will work round-the-clock to ensure that the matches take place smoothly.

“We have changed some traffic routes for the easy movement of vehicles passing through the venue. People can also avail special bus services from Sealdah Railway station and Howrah Railway, station beside other places in North Kolkata. There will be 110 checking points and spectators are requested to reach the venue at least two hours before the match,” Deputy Police Commissioner (Headquarters) Santosh Pandey said.
| Edited by: Aditya Nair
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