New Delhi: Amid intelligence alerts about possible terror attacks, security was beefed up in the national capital and around 47,000 personnel were deployed ahead of Independence Day celebrations, officials said on Monday.
Around 25,000 security personnel will be deployed in and around New Delhi, north Delhi and major central Delhi areas, a police official said. The Red Fort and its surrounding areas within a five-km radius will be taken care of by about 90 companies of security forces (over 9,000 men).
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation from the ramparts of Red Fort on the 71st Independence Day on Tuesday.
Officials said anti-aircraft and anti-drone guns have been deployed in and around Red Fort. An additional 500 closed-circuit television and high-resolution cameras have been placed in and around Red Fort.
“Anti-social elements or terrorists could pose a threat to the safety of people and vital installations by using unconventional aerial platforms. All neighbouring states have also been alerted and security beefed up on Delhi borders,” an official said.
Besides Delhi Police, personnel of paramilitary forces and National Security Guard will be on duty.
The official said that after the killing of several top-rung militants in Jammu and Kashmir, there are reports that outfits in that state could be looking at carrying out terror attacks. Delhi Police Spokesperson Madhur Verma told IANS: “Security personnel will look out for flying objects like para-motors, hang-gliders, unmanned aerial vehicles, microlight aircraft, and remotely-piloted and small-powered aircraft.”
Flying of aerial vehicles like quadcopters, paragliders, and hot-air balloons have been banned in Delhi in the run-up to the Independence Day.
Police officials said Metro rail services on the Blue Line will be run as usual. However, boarding and de-boarding at the Red Fort and Jama Masjid stations on the Violet Line will not be allowed after 6.30 a.m. till the Independence Day function at Red Fort ends.
Officials said security personnel in plain-clothes will be deployed in several areas. NSG snipers too have been deployed on rooftops and strategically important points. Police have carried out security checks at hotels and guesthouses, specially in areas around Red Fort.
Roads leading to Red Fort — Netaji Subhash Marg, S.P. Mukherjee Marg, Chandni Chowk Road, Nishad Raj Marg and Link Road — will be out of bounds for traffic for four hours from 5 a.m. on Tuesday.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Garima Bhatnagar told IANS that people can use the Delhi Metro and alight at Delhi Gate, Chandni Chowk, or Kashmere Gate stations to reach Red Fort. She appealed to the public not to touch any suspicious object and report any unidentified/suspicious object or individual or vehicle to the nearest security personnel.