Arrange security yourselves, Mamata tells sports clubs

Last Updated: Fri, Jan 11, 2013 16:00 hrs

Kolkata, Jan 11 (IANS) Citing shortage of state police personnel, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Friday asked the sporting clubs to arrange for their own security during games.

"About 50,000 to a lakh people come to watch matches. It is not possible to provide security for all. Clubs should raise their security themselves," said Banerjee addressing a programme of the sports department here.

Banerjee's comment comes in wake of the crowd violence in the Dec 9 I-League derby clash between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan at the Salt Lake Stadium which left a player seriously injured.

Mohun Bagan midfielder Syed Rahim Nabi had to be hospitalised after being hit on the face by a missile, following which the club refused to continue and the nmatch was called off.

Banerjee then too had defended her police, by blaming the "embarrassingly low" strength of the force.

Stating that few thousand police personnel was not enough for 10 crore people of the state, Banerjee urged the youth to respect women and ensure that crime against women were prevented.

She also announced the "Banga Khel Ratna" awards for sportspersons at junior and senior levels and called for setting up an umbrella organisation to look after the maintenance of all sports stadia in the state.

She said a task force comprising veteran sports personalities would be constituted for the promotion of sports and nurturing budding players from the various regions of the state including the Maoist-affected parts.

More from Sify: