Tight security in capital for Republic Day celebrations

Tight security in capital for Republic Day celebrations

The national capital was today wrapped in an unprecedented security cover with thousands of security force personnel keeping a hawk-eye vigil to ward off any terror strike or untoward incident during the 68th Republic Day celebrations.

Mobile hit teams, anti-aircraft guns and sharpshooters were deployed to keep a watch on the eight-km-long parade route from Rajpath to Red Fort besides nearby localities.

There were intelligence inputs that terror groups may try to carry out attacks. Delhi Police was sent a special advisory informing them that terror groups might use animals to target crowded areas like important installations, railway stations, etc to create a panic.

Crown prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan is the chief guest of the Republic Day celebrations.

As per earlier intelligence inputs, terror groups like LeT may be planning to use helicopter charter services and charter flights to launch attacks.

Snipers were on top of high-rise buildings while around scores of CCTV cameras kept a tight vigil on people's movements on the parade route.

Elaborate air defence measures, including deployment of anti-aircraft guns, were also put in place to secure the air space.

Nearly 60,000 security personnel drawn from Delhi Police and Central security forces have been deployed in Central Delhi. Police is also using counter-drone technology to thwart any attack or identify any suspicious flying object, a senior police officer said.

Security personnel identified vulnerable spots like crowded markets, railway stations, bus stands and other high- value establishments and efforts were made to secure them. Traffic police deployed around 1,500 personnel to manage route diversions during the parade.

Patrolling in public places was intensified and checking and frisking in metro, railway stations and bus terminals tightened.

The advisory that has been issued to security agencies stated that "it is imperative for the security forces to be familiar with the range of threats for devising appropriate counter means" in view of the use of conventional weapons by the terrorists.

The security forces were also asked to ensure proper frisking and checking of police personnel since there is a possibility that terrorists may disguise themselves as security personnel.

Security agencies have also been warned that some Muslim extremist organisations are planning 9/11 type of attacks using aeroplanes carrying personnel and weapons on board.

No commercial flights will land or take off at the Indira Gandhi International Airport from 10.35 AM to 12.15 PM.

As part of the security drill, Delhi Police has set up a wireless integrated public address (WIPA) system to enhance security at crowded places and popular markets in the city.

WIPA is a centralised public address system now installed at 31 crowded places and markets in Delhi, and also in 13 major metro stations.

Security agencies have also sealed 71 buildings in close proximity of Rajpath which is the Republic Day parade route. Security personnel have been deployed on rooftops.

Even bonafide citizens of Lutyens' zone, including MPs and officers of the armed forces, have been either issued special passes or have to establish their identities to enter the zone.

Spectators have been made to pass through a stringent multi-layered security check to be able to watch the parade and they were not allowed to carry any electronic gadgets to the venue.

Muksh Kumar Meena, Special Commissioner of Police, New Delhi range said, "There is foolproof security in place. senior officers of Delhi Police will be patrolling the area while borders have been sealed." 

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