Police, MCA sort out pass issue

“We had a meeting today with Additional Commissioners of Police Naval Bajaj, Madhukar Gavit and other police officers, and the issue has been sorted out. The issue was only with police passes. They will now honour the accreditations issued by the BCCI,” said Ratnakar Shetty, treasurer of MCA.

“The IPL matches on May 24 and 25 would be held at the Wankhede stadium as scheduled,” he added.

Shetty, also the BCCI’s Chief Administrative Officer, and MCA vice-president Dilip Vengsarkar met the police officials here, a day after the issue had been raised at the BCCI’s Working Committee meeting on Wednesday. Thursday’s meeting lasted around two hours.

Board officials were upset at the need for them to sport police accreditations in addition to their own identity cards for entering the Cricket Centre housed inside the stadium, the home venue for IPL franchise Mumbai Indians.

The BCCI even threatened to shift the first two IPL play-off games scheduled for May 24 and 25 at the stadium and gave MCA officials three days’ time to sort out the matter with the city police.

Deputy Police Commissioner (Operations) Rajkumar Vhatkar said henceforth, police personnel would not be handling the security inside the stadium but would continue to man the surroundings.

“Security responsibilities inside the stadium would be taken care of by the MCA’s private security staff. Police would be deployed outside the stadium only for the IPL matches,” Vhatkar said. “It will be left to the MCA’s security staff to decide whom to allow or not allow inside the stadium with or without accreditation. If they don’t have police passes, we would not object.”

Frisking of spectators would also be done by the private security staff, Vhatkar added.
Only on Wednesday, Vhatkar had insisted that police credentials were a must to enter the stadium.

“Thorough security checking is required. Not even the city Police Commissioner is allowed to enter the ground without police accreditation. Then why are the BCCI officials making an issue out of it? Egos should be kept aside when it comes to security of thousands of people,” he had said.

Home Minister RR Patil said, “We will ensure that people and players are safe, and security personnel do not trouble them.” Patil admitted that there had been a few complaints from the BCCI over security arrangements.

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