Hyderabad: Massive security arrangements are in place here for the annual Ganesh immersion processions in and around Hyderabad on Friday.
As the day coincides with Friday prayers and in view of the recent disturbances witnessed over an offensive video posted by BJP MLA Raja Singh, police have heightened the vigilance across the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad and outskirts.
Over 25,000 policemen have been deployed in the limits of three police commissionerates — Hyderabad, Cyberabad and Rachakonda.
Additional security arrangements have been made in the communally sensitive old city of Hyderabad.
With Raja Singh remaining in judicial custody, police stepped up security in his constituency Gosha Mahal. A tight vigilance is being maintained in Mangalhat, Begum Bazar and other areas to prevent any untoward incident.
Over 40,000 idols will be immersed in Hussain Sagar and more than 50 other lakes and artificial ponds in and around the city.
Hyderabad Police Commissioner C.V. Anand said said tight security arrangements were in place for the immersion procession, which will start from Balapur and pass through various parts of the city to reach Hussain Sagar in the heart of the city.
For the first time the police commissioner and other top officials will monitor the festivities from the newly built state-of-the-art integrated police command and control centre.
As the procession passes through communally sensitive old city, police will keep a tight vigil along the procession route to prevent any untoward incident.
Top police officers will monitor the procession from the command and control centre through CCTV cameras.
The mammoth procession brings the entire city to a halt. Police have imposed traffic restrictions.
Liquor shops and bars will remain closed in the limits of all three police commissionerates.
Additional security measures have also been put in place due to row over immersion in Hussain Sagar lake in view of courts prohibiting immersion of Plaster of Paris (PoP) idols.
The government of Telangana has clarified that only idols made of clay will be allowed to be immersed in Hussain Sagar per the orders of the High Court.
POP idols can be immersed in 31 lakes and 74 baby ponds across the city, it said.
The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has deployed 280 cranes and 130 mobile cranes for immersion. More than 10,000 sanitation workers have been engaged to help with the immersion process.
The High Court, in its order dated July 21, 2022, has maintained that immersion of POP idols in Hussain Sagar is prohibited, starting this year.
The last couple of days saw Bhagyanagar Ganesh Utsav Samithi (BGUS) organising protests demanding the government to allow immersion of idols without restrictions.
BJP state president Bandi Sanjay had threatened that if idols are not allowed to be immersed in Hussain Sagar, the organisers will be forced to carry the idols to Pragati Bhavan, the official residence of the chief minister.
Meanwhile, in view of the immersion processions on Friday, the state government has declared a holiday for all government schools and educational institutions in three districts — Hyderabad, Ranga Reddy and Medchal Malkajgiri.