Security Stepped Up For Political Rallies In UP

Lucknow: A state of high alert has been sounded in Uttar Pradesh following the serial blasts in Patna Sunday in which five people were killed and over 80 injured, officials said.

A review meeting of the security apparatus in the state has also been called to take stock of the situation in the "season of political rallies".

While security has been beefed up for the Azamgarh rally to be addressed by chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav Tuesday, instructions have been issued to ensure fool-proof security for all political rallies in the state, an official said.

BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's rallies, which are attracting large crowds, could be potential targets of anti-social elements and hence security is being enhanced at his rallies, an official told IANS.

"Particularly after the bomb explosions at Gandhi Maidan in Patna where Narendra Modi was to address the rally, the contours of security for his rallies have certainly changed and we will ensure adequate security," a senior official said.

Modi is scheduled to address a public rally in Bahraich Nov 8 and since the district is close to the India-Nepal border, intelligence agencies are in a tizzy over the rally.

There are various types of inputs that we get and efforts are on to cross-check, verify such inputs and plug the loopholes, the official said.

"After the Sunday incident in Patna, officials in various districts have been asked to maintain vigil and step up intelligence," Inspector General of Police (Law and order) R.K. Vishwakarma said.

"Instructions have been issued to maintain fool proof security for all political rallies and now specially for the Gujarat chief minister," he said.

Vijay Bahadur Pathak, state spokesman of the BJP told IANS that so far the party was okay with the security set up at Jhansi and Kanpur.

Pathak, however, added that with new security concerns cropping up after the Patna blasts, the Uttar Pradesh government should ensure that security and checking of people coming for the rally is adequate and done properly.

Senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi also Sunday demanded at Lucknow that the security of Narendra Modi be further beefed up in view of the Patna serial blasts.

A string of rallies have been planned by the SP, Congress and BJP in the coming months. While the SP will start its political campaign for the Lok Sabha polls 2014 from Tuesday at Azamgarh, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi will address two rallies in Hamirpur and Salempur Oct 30.

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Source: IANS