The Fort St. George campus, which houses the Chief Secretariat, came under a heavy security blanket on Monday when Chief Minister Jayalalithaa presented the Home Department’s budgetary demand in the Assembly.
The security was beefed up after suspended DMK MLAs led by Leader of the Opposition M.K. Stalin had staged a dharna near the Assembly entrance and conducted a mock Assembly session on the campus.
Since early morning, the entry of everyone including VIPs and government staff was heavily regulated. Separate and exclusive entrance was arranged for the Ministers and MLAs. The parking lot on the campus was out of bounds for visitors and mediapersons.
Journalists from the electronic media were not allowed to telecast live feeds near Gate No 4, their usual spot for sending in ‘Piece to Camera’ bulletins.
The suspended DMK legislators had conducted a mock Assembly session last week outside Gate No 4.
Even the short pathway from the Press Reporters’ Room to the Assembly Hall was blocked and police personnel asked reporters to take a detour to reach the House for covering the proceedings of the Assembly.
None was allowed to stand near the Assembly entrance for even a minute and those walking through the entrances were asked to produce their ID cards by guards posted within a few feet of each other.
The Secretariat staff too were allowed to pass only on production of ID cards. The restrictions relaxed only after the Chief Minister left the campus after her reply to the debate for demand for grants.