Gun totting private guards for Palace security

Tourist Information Guide kiosks to come up on all the five gates

Gun totting private guards for Palace security

Safety first: Gun totting private security guards between Varaha and Karikal Thotti Gate of Amba Vilas Palace in Mysore. dh photo

Armed guards from a private security agency have been deployed to secure the cast iron grilled compound of the Palace. In all, 15 such guards (five in each of three shifts) equipped with single barrel guns, are guarding the Palace round the clock since September 6.

Deputy Director, Palace Board, P V Awaradhi told Deccan Herald, it had become inevitable to utilise the services of the guards as thieves were eyeing intricately designed cast iron grills. The grills fetch a handsome price at second hand market, said another official on condition of anonymity.

It is evident with the cast iron grills compound of the office of Command Area Development Authority (CADA) opposite to the Palace is stolen.

Each guard has been assigned with specific area to cover; while one guard is entrusted with the task of the area between Varaha Gate and Karikal Thotti and others are deputed between Karikal Thotti and Brahmapuri, Varaha Gate and Jayamarthanda, Jayamarthanda and Hardinge Circle side and another. It is on permanent basis, Awaradhi added.

ACP (Palace) Ramegowda said, there were instances where the police personnel on patrolling inside the Palace premises having nabbed such thieves of grills and handed them over to the police. Their modus operandi is to loosen the grills by repeatedly hitting it with boulders wrapped in gunny bags.

Tourist guides

Kiosks under the banner of ‘Tourist Information Guides’ will be set up shortly at all the five gates of the Palace. In all 10 graduates, dressed in blazers, with the  knowledge of several languages have been selected. Their job is to give maximum details related to Palace that includes entry timing, illumination hour and holidays. It is also a permanent feature, said Awaradhi.

A gun like equipment with a needle in the front called as ‘bomb detector’ is being operated three times in a day. Ever since it was bought two years ago, it was operated twice in a day during morning and evening hours. Now, with Dasara in the offing, it is being used during afternoon too. A technically skilled person accompanied by a cop, will be going around with the apparatus.

Apart from bomb, it can also detect drugs of any types, weapons and fibre. In case of any findings, the needle turns towards that particular direction. As the cops at the palace are almost armed, only bomb, drugs and fibre detecting card is being inserted for routine check. The card similar to an ATM card is an integral part of this weapon.

Solar fence

If all goes well, the palace fort may get an enhanced cover in the form of solar fencing. A proposal estimating about Rs 1.2 crore had been forwarded to Deputy Commissioner, who is also Member Secretary of Palace Board.

The DC has given his approval and it awaits approval of Chief Secretary, who is the chairman of the board, according to Deputy director, Palace Board, P V Awaradhi.

Electronics Corporation of India, a Government of India undertaking, has evinced interest in taking up the job. The fencing may be of the height of two metres on fortwalls of six km.

It will alarm the control room that has to be set up, with a signal followed by beep sound in case if anybody touches it, besides  giving the details of exact locations. The works may be taken up only after Dasara.

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