Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) took over the security of Indian Museum, the oldest and biggest heritage treasure trove in the Asia Pacific zone, on Monday. Fifty-nine armed personnel replaced private security agency that used to guard the outer ring of the two-tier security. Victoria Memorial is the only other museum in the city to have the security cover by CISF.
“We have 1,08,000 artefacts and priceless collections related to anthropology, archaeology, art, zoology, botany and geology, in our custody. So, it is of utmost importance as custodians to keep this huge collection safe for the present and future generations. We welcome CISF to take over the baton of security of our collections and the visitors,” said Arijit Dutta Choudhury, director of the museum, who handed over the symbolic key of the museum to the CISF Commanding Officer.
A N Mahapatra, CISF inspector general, said the Union home ministry approved deployment of CISF to provide round-the-clock security to ensure safety and security of visitors and the coveted treasure. The force was deployed through an induction ceremony at the central courtyard of the museum and the event was graced by Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar, who is also the chairman of the Board of Trustees of Indian Museum. Dhankhar said, “This iconic institution needed to have a professional agency for seamless and effective security to protect the visitors and its rich legacy.”
Security loopholes at the museum had been exposed a number of times — theft of the 5th century sandstone half bust of Buddha in December 2004, CAG report citing that antiquities from Indian Museum reaching various auction houses and an whistleblower having gone missing. “Besides entry and exit points, CISF personnel will be deployed at inner galleries and they will also monitor more than 400 CCTV cameras. Ground floor of the Anthropological Survey of India has been readied for their accommodation,” said Zhoponeyi Zuo, group commandant of CISF, Kolkata region.
Source: Times of India