On Tuesday, Delhi saw an unprecedented security cover for the 67th Republic Day celebrations. The capital was under an exceptional ground-to-air security cover with thousands of armed personnel keeping a tight vigil at Rajpath where French President Francois Hollande was the chief guest at the Republic Day parade.
The area around Central Delhi was turned into virtual fortress in the wake of intelligence inputs that terror groups may target some important installations in the city.
At the parade on Rajpath, chief guest President Hollande was seated in the enclosure of the VVIPs along with President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“VVIP enclosure was put under a multi-layer security ring with Presidential Guards and officials of SPG and NSG guarding the two inner-most orbits and Delhi Police entrusted with guarding the outermost circle,” said a senior security official.
Special arrangements were made at Rajpath where India’s military might was on display. The airspace around the region remained out of bounds for commercial flights arriving and departing out of the IGI airport in Delhi between 10.35 AM and 12.15 PM. The authorities were given clear instructions to bring down any aerial object flying without permission.
“Around 60 arrivals and departures take place at the IGI airport during this period, for which the notice was issued by the Airports Authority of India,” a senior official said.
Following Intel inputs of a possible attack, central security agencies and NIA have arrested 14 terrorists with suspected links to the ISIS. It is reported that the militants were planning sensational strikes at important installations in the capital.
Police departments of Delhi and neighbouring states have also been asked to keep a vigilant eye on drones.
Keeping the threat in mind, the government has deployed nearly 50,000 security personnel across Delhi. Personnel from Delhi Police and central security forces are guarding every nook and corner of the capital.
“Specially trained police personnel with light machine guns have been deployed at 10 strategic spots in New Delhi area,” a senior police official said.
Snipers have also been deployed at 45 buildings overlooking Rajpath besides providing a similar cover to all buildings along the parade route. Not just that, 200 high-tech digital cameras have also been installed in the parade route.
As many as 1,000 traffic officials have been issued revolvers so that they can deal with any untoward incident amid heavy security arrangements across the city involving around 25,000 police officials.
A special control room has been monitoring as many as 15,000 CCTV cameras installed across Delhi. Delhi Police has also 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.
(With inputs from PTI)