New Delhi: Security has been beefed up ahead of Republic Day with thousands of policemen and anti-aircraft guns deployed at strategic points in view of intelligence inputs about threats from terror groups to some important installations in the city.
Special security arrangements have been made at Rajpath where President Pranab Mukherjee, the Commander-in-Chief of the three forces - army, air force and navy - will take the salute. "In view of the terror threat, over 25,000 policemen have been deployed in Delhi," Joint Commissioner of Police (JCP) Deependra Pathak said. "The police teams will also be deployed in crowded markets, bus stops, railway stations, airport and malls," Pathak said. The officer also said that the VIP, VVIP routes, dignitaries, public enclosures, peripheral, inner and outer areas of Delhi will be provided massive security cover. "The bordering areas of Delhi-NCR will be closely monitored through CCTV cameras," the officer said.
Pathak added that Delhi Police has taken all safety measures based on intelligence inputs about terror threats to some vital installations. Elaborating on the arrangements made at Rajpath, Pathak said, "Our teams will also be deployed in plainclothes, specially near the parade route and within VIP enclosures." Besides Delhi Police, thousands of personnel from paramilitary forces have also been pressed for security duties. Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is the Chief Guest at this year's Republic Day function, will be seated on the dais along with President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "No visitor without valid card will be allowed at security check points to see the parade," Pathak said.
He appealed to the people to inform police in case they see any unidentified object or suspicious activity. A senior police official requesting anonymity said, "Security personnel have been given clear instructions to bring down any aerial object flying without permission." As a precautionary measure, light machine guns (LMGs) have been positioned at several points along the parade route. "Specially trained police personnel with LMGs have been deployed at several strategic spots in New Delhi area," the police official said.
"A 'NOTAM' (Notice to Airmen) will also be declared for a few hours on Republic Day, during which no flights will land or take off at the Indira Gandhi International Airport," the officer said. He said that snipers will be placed on several buildings overlooking Rajpath.