Kozhikode: More than 600 police personnel will be in place as party of elaborate security setup for Pakistan ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali’s concert here later today in view of Shiv Sena’s threat to disrupt the concert in the wake of the Pathankot terror strike.
“More than 600 police personnel led by Assistant Commissioners and Superintendents of Police from nearby districts will be deployed for smooth conduct of the Ghazal concert,” Assistant Commissioner of Police (Special Branch), P T Balan told PTI.
The ACP said Ghulam Ali would be accompanied to the venue later this evening by commandos in two vehicles, his personal escorts in one vehicle, besides a pilot vehicle.
Those entering the venue would be frisked and no handbags or other items would be allowed inside, he said. Balan said police would block the protest march planned at the venue by Shiv Sena and Hanuman Sena volunteers by blocking them about 600 metres away from the spot.
Ghulam Ali is in Kerala on the invitation of socio-cultural organisation ‘Swaralaya’. The programmes in Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode on January 15 and today were arranged in association with Grand Kerala Shopping Festival Directorate.
Shiv Sena had demanded cancellation of the programmes on January 15 and 17 and said it would observe them as ‘protest day’ across Kerala by holding demonstrations at different places.
On January 15 Shiv Sena activists in the state capital had staged a demonstration near the venue of Ali’s concert. Ali was honoured by the Kerala government at a function at the state capital on January 14, attended by a galaxy of state leaders, including Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.
Last year, a scheduled programme of Ali was cancelled in Mumbai following protests by Shiv Sena. After that, he performed in Kolkata in January.