States want centre to provide security cover for IPL matches

Most states which will hold the high-profile Indian Premier League (IPL) have conveyed to the Union Home Ministry that they would not be in a position to conduct the Twenty20 matches without paramilitary cover.

Responding to the Home Ministry’s reminder to give their feedbacks on the revised schedule, the states expressed the view that the matches could be held peacefully only with the assistance of central security forces.

The Home Ministry will study the report before taking a decision on the matches with a less than a month left for the tournament to begin on April 10, a senior official said.

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram is likely to take a call tomorrow after going through the response of all the states.

Concerned over the availability of central paramilitary forces in view of the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections and simultaneous assembly polls in three states, the Home Ministry had sent a revised schedule to the states concerned on March 7 avoiding the polling dates.

The Ministry sent a reminder to these states on April 10 seeking their early response.

Though the states where the Twenty20 matches will be held sought Central paramilitary forces, the IPL organisers had conveyed to the Home Ministry that they do not require any central forces for the security.

The official said that a final decision would be taken by the Home Minister after consultations with senior officials.

The IPL coincides with the general elections in the country and the organisers of the cash-rich league have been forced to revise the schedule to avoid matches on polling days in the host cities.

The five-phased Lok Sabha poll begins on April 16 and ends on May 13. The counting will take place on May 19 whereas the IPL tournament concludes on May 24.

The 45-day extravaganza will be played among eight teams and spread over eight cities.

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