As India is set to celebrate its 67th Republic Day on Tuesday, a high alert has been sounded across the country. Intelligence inputs have warned of a possible terror attack that aims to disrupt the Republic Day parade which is also being attended by French President François Hollande.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh held a high-level security meet with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Intelligence Bureau and RAW chiefs to review the security situation in the country on Monday morning.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has also detained 14 Islamic State (IS) sympathisers from six different cities. Another suspect who was jointly being questioned by NIA and Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) was also arrested on Sunday night at Mazgaon.
The national capital has been put on high alert ever since a terror attack took place at the Air Force base in Pathankot.
On Tuesday, the parade is set to begin at around 9:50 AM from Vijay Chowk and it will culminate at the Red Fort. National Security Guard snipers will maintain a strict vigil within a 2 km radius of Rajpath where top dignitaries from India including President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Md Hamid Ansari and PM Narendra Modi will be present. French President Hollande will also be present at the venue as the chief guest. Apart from Indian security agencies, Central Intelligence Agency of the US is also involved in providing a security cover to President Hollande.
The Indian government has deployed 49,000 paramilitary personnel and 1,000 snipers to protect the public and the VVIP’s attending the R- Day parade. Delhi will also remain a no-fly zone during the parade.
People with valid passes issued by Ministry of Defence will be allowed to enter the Rajpath viewer’s gallery after passing through a series of security checks. Several vehicular restrictions will also be in place on roads leading to Rajpath. Vehicular restrictions are said to begin as early as Monday midnight.
Not just in Delhi, a nationwide alert has been issued in the wake of R- Day celebrations. Massive security checks are being conducted in public places in all major metropolitan cities.
(With inputs from agencies)