The TMC takes out the rally every year in Dharmatala area of central Kolkata to pay tribute to the 13 Youth Congress workers, who were allegedly killed in police firing in 1993, when the Left Front government was in power.

Days after a makeshift tent collapse during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally in Midnapore town, leaving over 90 people injured, the ruling TMC is taking extra precautions for its July 21 Martyrs’ Day rally.

The TMC takes out the rally every year in Dharmatala area of central Kolkata to pay tribute to the 13 Youth Congress workers, who were allegedly killed in police firing in 1993, when the Left Front government was in power.

The party, which is observing the rally’s 25th anniversary, expected to be a “mega affair”, has increased surveillance and made last-minute changes to the structure of its main stage in Esplanade area, sources said.

Around 800 bamboos have been used to tie-up around 400 iron bars to erect the stage, they added. “We do not want any untoward incident to take place. That is why we have taken extra caution to prepare the stage. We have used iron bars as a foundation for the stage, and bamboos to tie up the iron bars. This has been done to give the stage a solid foundation,” said a senior party leader.

The TMC has also pushed back the stage from its original position by 8 feet to create more distance from party workers. The top rung is expecting a record turnout at the rally, party sources said.

Meanwhile, more than 100 CCTV cameras have been installed around the stage for better surveillance. More than 5,000 volunteers will be deployed to manage party workers.

A TMC leader blamed the Midnapore incident on “mismanagement” and “negligence” of the rally organisers, and the “lacklustre attitude” of their volunteers. “We will not make the same mistake. We are anticipating a record turnout this year but that does not mean we will allow lapses in security,” the party leader added. Public Works Department (PWD) officials and Kolkata Police are also keeping a close watch on preparations . Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will be the main speaker at the July 21 rally, which will begin at 12 pm, Saturday.

Kolkata Metro to deploy additional security

Anticipating a heavy rush of commuters on July 21, the Metro Railway has decided to deploy additional security forces at different stations. Indrani Banerjee, the spokesperson of Kolkata Metro, said 350 Railway Protection Force personnel will be deployed at different stations. with PTI


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