Khatkar Kalan, March 16
With 10,000 security personnel standing on guard and 1 lakh chairs laid at the 150-acre venue, the native village of Bhagat Singh is all set to host the swearing-in ceremony of CM-designate Bhagwant Mann today.
The entire village has been turned into a mini city as an estimated two to four lakh people are likely to attend the event. Security personal have secured a 7-km radius and nakas have been set up on the road as police officials keep a close watch. The seating area stretches almost 500 metres from the pandal to the other end.
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Crop on 150 acres cleared for Bhagwant Mann’s oath-taking at Khatkar Kalan
The area within this radius, with the Khatkar Kalan Bhagat Singh Memorial at the centre, has been barricaded with heavy police deployments. Barricades have been put on the 3 km stretch on both sides of the memorial. Access to the perimeter will be restricted for area residents tomorrow. Khatkar Kalan resembles a police cantonment with cops swarming the arena.
Given the huge expanse, the entire area has been divided into sectors, each having 250 police personnel on guard. Police force from Amritsar, Khanna, Jalandhar, Nawanshahr, Fatehgarh Sahib, Jalandhar districts have been requisitioned for the event.
From an initial 13 acre plan, the area has now expanded to over 150 acres, for which crops on both side of the pandal have been cleared. While 11 IAS officers were supposed to oversee the arrangements initially, the number of bureaucrats involved in the preparations has increased dramatically. Officials have been drafted from various districts for proper management. The traffic has been diverted from the Ropar-Balachaur road to Khatkar Kalan with top bureaucrats and police officials regularly reviewing the management.
Some villagers said they had last seen such an elaborate setup at Khatkar Kalan during the Indira Gandhi regime.