In a scathing communication to Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik, the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) Administrator Justice (Retd) Vikramajit Sen has pointed out security lapses during the India-New Zealand T20 International held at the Ferozeshah Kotla here on November 1.
One of the issues that left Justice Sen fuming was former India captain Bishan Singh Bedi being turned away from Gate No 2 despite possessing the required accreditation.
Thanking two officers – DCP Mandeep Singh Randhawa and Additional DCP Anto Alphonse – for their “unqualified support” before and during the match, Justice Sen wrote, “I would be remiss in not bringing to your attention a few issues/concerns which arose during the T20 match.”
Justice Sen wrote, “It is a matter of great shame that that one of the most prominent names in cricket, Mr. Bishan Singh Bedi, was turned away from Gate No 2 even though it was apparent that he was unable to traverse the distance for the security check. I would like to bring to your notice that not only was he a valid ticket holder, but was accredited by the DDCA to give a memento to Ashish Nehra on his retirement. It is prudent that a process is formulated during international matches to cater to differently abled spectators, senior citizens and VVIP’s to ensure their safety and hassle-free access to the stadium.”
Citing the lapses, Justice Sen said, “It is a matter of grave concern that some of the officers (posted at Gate No 2) had on at least three occasions opened up the Gate No 2 permitting over 50 persons on each occasion to enter the stadium premises. These persons were not checked which is a grave security breach. From the CCTV footage annexed, they were clearly trespassers who neither had accreditation nor a valid ticket.”
Justice Sen also demanded an inquiry into the issue of ticketless entry, which caused loss of revenue to the DDCA.
Justice Sen also pointed out Delhi Police had demanded 650 accreditation cards and he was informed by his team a large number of persons, “were using the accreditation to watch the match and were not in any way monitoring the security.” The letter claimed that these persons had occupied seats in Hill B Area and caused inconvenience to members/cricketers and valid ticket holders.”
To set a precedent, Justice Sen has demanded list of “persons who were deputed at Ferozeshah Kotla in plain clothes so that I can submit this list in sealed cover to the Hon High Court of Delhi, if the identity of the person allotted the accreditation during the T20 match is a security concern.”