Chandigarh to deploy 1,000 cops on Valentine’s Day

Chandigarh, Feb 13 (IANS) Over 1,000 policemen will be deployed across this union territory on Valentine’s Day Sunday to avoid any untoward incidents, an officer said.

‘Over 1,000 policemen will be on field duty in Chandigarh on Valentine’s Day. We have identified certain sensitive points in the city and our special emphasis will be at those places,’ the officer told IANS Saturday.

He added: ‘We cannot take any chances and special arrangements would be made near discotheques, hotels and restaurants, which are expected to see a heavy rush. Senior officers will supervise the security operations.’

Elaborate security arrangements have been made to keep an eye on hooligans and ensure a peaceful Valentine’s Day here, police said.

‘We are geared up to maintain law and order in the city tomorrow (Sunday). We have already given special instructions to our patrolling teams. An increased number of police checkposts will be established at all sensitive locations here,’ Chandigarh Superintendent of Police (Security) H.S. Doon told IANS.

‘We have constituted special teams for all the three divisions: east, south and central. Both male and female officials will be stationed at various places in plainclothes to keep an eye on anti-social elements,’ he said.

The police here have been restricting vehicular entry on the popular ‘geri route’ that is frequented by young couples on Valentine’s Day during the past few years. But traffic movement has not been restricted in the city as of now.

A nearly three-km stretch, covering Sectors 9, 10 and 11, was christened ‘geri route’ many years ago with youngsters zipping around on motorycles and in cars.

Nearly a dozen educational institutions are also located on this road.

‘So far, we have not restricted the traffic movement in any part of the city, but if we see any kind of rush or in case of any emergency, we are fully prepared to divert the traffic,’ Doon said.

Meanwhile, shops selling flowers, chocolates, greeting cards and soft toys are offering a wide range of goodies to buyers.

‘Besides other gifts, this year exotic love birds are also in vogue among youngsters. We have seen a surge in their sales during the last one week,’ said Raghu, who works in a pet shop in Sector 22.

However, some gift shop owners here fear that Valentine’s Day, since it falls on a Sunday, could dampen the spirit of youngsters and could affect sales.

‘This year, the response was lukewarm as compared to the past few years. Valentine’s Day being on a Sunday could be one reason behind this as colleges and university will be closed,’ said a sales girl at an Archies Gallery here.

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