Forty companies of central paramilitary forces will be deployed for the Kumbh Mela starting here next month, a senior police official said. The Centre has given its approval for the deployment of 40 companies of paramilitary forces, including seven companies each of the SSB and the CISF, six of the ITBP and 10 each of the BSF and the CRPF, for the mela, Inspector General of Police (Kumbh Mela) Sanjay Gunjyal said.
Five companies of the central paramilitary forces will arrive on January 1. The next batch of seven companies will be received on February 1, Gunjyal said.
On the main bathing days or ‘Shahi Snan’ days, twelve-fourteen companies of the central paramilitary forces will be deployed in the mela area, the IG said.
Besides these, he said, the Centre is also sending NSG commandos, snipers and bomb disposal squads with anti-sabotage sniffer dogs on the state government's request.
Gunjyal also attended a seminar with Ganga Sabha representatives to review the preparations for Kumbh and invited suggestions from them on how to improve the arrangements, calling them one of the principal stakeholders in the organisation of the event.
Ganga Sabha president Pradeep Jha suggested that Har ki Pairi ghat should be declared a shoe-free zone during the event.
Devotees staying at hotels and dharmashalas during the event should by asked by their managements to visit Har ki Pairi without their shoes on, he said.
Gunjyal said police personnel deployed at Har ki Pairi can also be asked to wear shoes and belts made of material other than leather.