New Delhi: Amid fears that terrorists might try to target the Commonwealth Games, Delhi Police is procuring armoured vehicles and will be forming a special commando force to ensure that the mega sporting event passes off without any trouble.
Gearing up to the challenge of protecting sportspersons of 71 countries, the Delhi Police is making elaborate arrangements for the event to be held from October 3 to 14.
“We will be getting three armoured cars. Delhi will be the first city in the country to use such vehicles in policing,” Police Commissioner Y S Dadwal told reporters in an interview.
“These vehicles will be moving around the city and (sometimes) stationed at venues,” he said.
The vehicles, each carrying 30 commandos, would be deployed to tackle eventualities like terror strikes.
One batch of such commandos is ready while two batches are undergoing special training.
Besides, the city police is procuring high-end gadgets and equipment.
Its personnel are also being specially trained in frisking, search operations and screening baggage through X-Ray machines. Special training on enhancing communication skills and behavioural patterns are also being imparted.
“The force will have a special commando force which will keep a hawk-eye vigil over the city,” Dadwal said.
Apart from around 80,000 Delhi Police personnel, over 17,500 paramilitary personnel, 3,000 specialised commandos and 100 anti-sabotage check teams will be deployed across the city.
“There will be elaborate security arrangements for the Games. We have got Quick Reaction Teams, commandos and snippers to secure the event as well as the city,” Dadwal said.
When asked about Punjab Police claiming that Sikh militants may target the Games, the Commissioner said he was “not aware” of any threat to the event. “No. I have no information (about Punjab Police alert),” Dadwal said.
To a question whether the delay in completion of Games-related projects was compromising security preparedness, he said all venues will be ready on time and he did not envisage any problem in this regard.
“We know the stadia and the surrounding areas. We know the city very well. So securing them or other areas will not be a problem,” the city police chief said.
“As a preventive measure we have asked schools and colleges to remain closed during opening and closing ceremonies,” Dadwal said.
Asked whether he envisages any coordination problems with paramilitary forces which are also being drawn for security measures, he answered in the negative and said all the forces will work under his command and control.
“All the paramilitary forces provided to me will work under my command except the NSG. We will be working in synergy. There is no ambiguity. It is very clear that I am in command and control,” Dadwal said.
Manpower will not be a problem in security arrangements, he said.
Already, he said, there is a special hotline between Delhi Police and police in neighbouring districts of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana besides the civic agencies of the national capital.
Asked whether there would be any restriction on movement of people during the Games, Dadwal said, “this is a free city and free country. People can move. But we like to caution people. As a responsible citizen they should help us in maintaining traffic.
“There will be a dedicated lane and it can cause some traffic problems. There will be lot of traffic on roads. People need to make slight adjustments related to their travel plans. We are not asking people to stay at home but to follow traffic rules,” he said.
“Detailed traffic management plan for city traffic and venue-specific circulation and parking plans have been developed. Last minute changes noticed during the construction and after it are being monitored and effective traffic solutions are being implemented,” he said.
Assuring a incident-free Games, the CP said the rate of crime in the capital is the lowest in the last 40 years.
“We are taking substantive series of steps to improve policing for both people and Games. Our aim is not only to secure Games but to ensure safety of people. If we get help from people then we can do wonders,” Dadwal said.