India reviews security ahead of Republic Day

RSTV Bureau
File photo of Union Minister of Home Affairs, Rajnath Singh. Photo-PTI

File photo of Union Minister of Home Affairs, Rajnath Singh.
Photo-PTI

On Friday morning, top officials from the Home Ministry and Defence Ministry met in the capital to review India’s internal security ahead of Republic Day celebrations.

The crucial meet that was headed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, also included Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and NSA Ajit Doval among other officials.

The meeting also comes in the wake of the terror attack in Pathankot as several cities including Delhi continue to be on high alert.

According to sources, the officials took stock of various aspects of internal security and analysed the intelligence inputs received in recent past. Chiefs of Intelligence Bureau (IB) and Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) shared various inputs gathered by them, revealed sources. Necessary instructions were given to ensure security in all sensitive locations including border areas and major urban centres.

In Delhi, massive security arrangements will be in place to ensure that the Republic Day celebrations go smoothly. French President Francois Hollande will also be in Delhi as he is the chief guest at the event.

An additional 10,000 paramilitary personnel have already been deployed in Delhi to ensure greater security cover ahead of January 26. Security cover has also been increased at the IGI airport in the capital.

Both domestic and international flights have been asked to upgrade their scale of security and some passengers are even being made to undergo the ‘secondary ladder checking’ in some flights, which is basically thoroughly frisking a passenger when he is about to enter an aircraft.

It is believed that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) chief briefed everyone about the ongoing probe on the Pathankot air base attack, in the hour-long meeting. Sources said that fresh intelligence inputs have suggested that there were 6 to 10 Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists who had crossed over to India from Pakistan through Punjab in the recent past. In Pathankot, six suspected JeM terrorists were killed after three days of fierce gun battle.

Reports said that Punjab Police had suggested that about 15 terrorists may have breached the International Border and entered India from Pakistan.

On Thursday, both India and Pakistan ‘agreed’ to reschedule the Foreign Secretary talks as the MEA in India said that it had welcomed the probe initiated by Pakistan on the Pathankot attack. India also said that the a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Pakistan was welcome to visit India to carry out a probe.

Clearly, internal security is a big concern for the officials at a time when terror strikes are being carried out all across the world.

On Wednesday, Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag had said that the security situation in India was becoming more “complex and dynamic” as at least 17 terror training camps continue to be active in Pakistani Occupied Kashmir (PoK).

(With inputs from PTI)