New Delhi: SWAT commandos, NSG snipers and facial recognition software are part of a thick security blanket to secure the Red Fort where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hoist the national flag on the 73rd Independence Day on Thursday.
Around 500 CCTV cameras have been installed around the venue, where ministers, bureaucrats, foreign dignitaries and common people will gather to hear the prime minister address the nation. Army, paramilitary forces and 20,000 Delhi Police personnel have also been deployed. The roads leading to the Red Fort are under surveillance and police personnel are taking help of sniffer dogs to check vehicles in north and central districts of Delhi.
Several roads leading to the Red Fort were barricaded for security purpose with heavy deployment of police personnel at every point in and around it. Special "spotters" are keeping an eye on parking areas and kite catchers will ensure a distraction-free event at the Red Fort. To identify suspects around the historic Red Fort, police are using cameras with facial recognition technology, while anti-drone detection system has been deployed to secure the skies.
"We have made an extensive security arrangement for those coming to the Red Fort. Drills have been rehearsed," Deputy Commissioner of Police (North) Nupur Prasad said, adding special control rooms will monitor alerts and coordinate with security agencies. Officials said that Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) units and specially-equipped 'Parakram' vans are being stationed at crucial junctions. Police personnel are regularly conducting anti-sabotage drills and making enquiries at hotels for possible suspects lodging there. Police have prohibited aerial activities, including paragliding, hot-air balloons and quadcopters, until August 15 around the Red Fort.
Any person violating the order will be liable for criminal prosecution, officials said. The Delhi Metro has not announced any change in its services on August 15, but there will be restrictions on entry and exit at some stations on the Violet Line. Parking areas, however, have been closed until 2 pm.