DC creates history, bars pilgrim entry to Kamakhya for 5 hrs during Ambubachi
GUWAHATI: For the first time in the history of Ambubachi observance in Guwahati, the district administration has decided that the pilgrims will not be allowed to enter Nilachal Hills from 12 am to 5 am every night of the Ambubachi festival.
A source in Kamrup (Metro) district administration said, “It is for the first time that the administration, after due discussion with city police, Kamakhya Devalaya Committee, tourism department and other state government agencies, have decided to restrict devotees from entering Nilachal Hills from 12 am to 5 am during Ambubachi.”
The decision, according to the deputy commissioner of Kamrup (Metro), Virendra Mittal, will be a win-win situation for all. During a press conference he said that the Devalaya Committee will get the opportunity to clean the temple during this time, the officials will get time to change shifts and even the pilgrims will know at what time they should not be going to the temple.
The decision, that has no precedents, has not gone down well with many Guwahatians.
A resident of Jyotikuchi, Kedar Nath said, “Every year during Ambubachi, our family goes to Kamakhya at night and this year, with this decision, we are not sure at what time we can go there.”
A source in Kamakhya Devalaya Committee said, “This decision has been taken for the first time and people will be affected. On 25th June however, people will be allowed at night as well because the gates of Kamakhya Temple will be opened early in the morning on 26th June and there will be a huge rush from the previous night.”
The doors of Kamakhya Temple this year will be closed on the night of 21st June till the night of 25th June, the source said.
The administration has also taken some other decisions this year that are “new.” The Sonaram field camp has been shifted to Fancy Bazar old jail campus area. It will be the largest pilgrim camp in Guwahati.
There are five camps for the pilgrims – Kamakhya Railway Station, Maligaon old railway station at Pandu, Fancy Bazar old jail campus, Naharbari field Near Kamakhya Temple Campus and Boripara School field.
The pilgrims can take three routes to reach Kamakhya Temple – Main Road from Kamakhya Rotary, Mekhela Ujowa Path and Paschim Duwar Path from Aruna Cinema Hall.
There will be 21 bhandaras providing food to the pilgrims and the food safety department will monitor the quality of all the foodstuff prepared and delivered to the pilgrims.
Officials from the administration will be deployed at all the camps and there will be help desks on all the routes of Kamakhya Temple.
DC Mittal has requested support from the public to make the festival peaceful and free of chaos.
Detailed security plan chalked out by police
Guwahati city police have chalked out a detailed security plan for the four-day Ambubachi celebration in Guwahati.
Commissioner of Police, Hiren Chandra Nath said, “The security plan is divided into 14 sectors.”
There are 14 sectors including the camps, the Kamakhya Temple, the routes and the surroundings. In 6 of these sectors superintendent of police (SP) level officers will be heading the security and in the rest of the sectors, additional superintendent of police (ASP) or deputy superintendent of police (DSP) level officers will be deployed.
Around 200 security personnel including CRPF, commandos, Assam Police battalion personnel will be deployed. Police personnel will also be deployed in civil dress.
All the railway stations are under strict police scanner and all the pilgrims coming to the city will be monitored so that no undesirable elements enter the city.
Around 700 volunteers will be helping the police to control the crowd. 1,200 people including NCC cadets, scouts & guides, nagrik committee members will also be backing the police in overall crowd management.
Lady police personnel will be deployed in all the camps, at the entry routes to Kamakhya Temple and at all the help desks.
Nath said, “Strict action will be taken against eve teasers and people involved in crimes against women.”
Don’t believe in fake news: Hiren Nath
Alerting the public not to get trapped by fake news the commissioner of police has requested the public not to believe in fake news.
Commissioner of Police, Hiren Chandra Nath said, “There will be three police control rooms and many help desks in and around Kamakhya Temple,” adding that people can inform the police about any suspicious activities instead of panicking if any rumours or fake news arise.
There will be 400 CCTV cameras installed in and around Kamakhya Temple and at all the camps.
Vehicles will not be allowed to enter the Nilachal Hills from Kamakhya Rotary and the commissioner has requested not to request for vehicle passes. Even VIPs will not be allowed to take vehicles to the Hills, he said.
Nath reiterated that the public should not fall prey to fake news and any kinds of rumours during the festival.