Delhi turns into fortress ahead of Republic Day

Delhi Tuesday geared up for the Republic Day celebrations with the city turning into a virtual security fortress as thousands of armed personnel kept vigil and authorities rushed through final touches for the event.

Updated: Jan 25, 2011, 14:25 PM IST

New Delhi: Delhi Tuesday geared up for the
Republic Day celebrations with the city turning into a virtual
security fortress as thousands of armed personnel kept vigil
and authorities rushed through final touches for the event.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) were scanning through
the capital while snipers were deployed on rooftops as the
security establishment fine-tuned its mechanism to ensure that
the function goes without any untoward incident.

Around 35,000 police personnel, including 15,000 from
paramilitary forces and elite National Security Guards (NSG)
were already deployed across the city in the run-up to the
celebrations, which will also be attended by Indonesian
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

A senior security official said UAVs of the Air Force
are being deployed for surveillance besides the usual
deployment of helicopters. "The UAVs will not only keep an eye
on the parade route but entire Delhi," the official said.

Ensuring air security and for the flypast, the
airspace over the capital will remain closed for an hour
tomorrow from 11.15 am to 12.15 pm.

Mobile hit teams, anti-aircraft guns and sharpshooters
of the NSG are also on the job at various places while
paramilitary and Delhi Police commandos were keeping a close
watch along the route of the eight-kilometre long Republic Day
parade from Raisana Hills to Red Fort.

Snipers are on top of the high-rise buildings while
around 100 CCTVs were keep a tight vigil on people`s movement
between Rajpath and Red Fort, the route of the parade which
showcases India`s military might and cultural diversity.

A multi-layer security ring has already been put in
place at Rajpath, where President Pratibha Patil will unfurl
the tricolour and take the salute of marching contingents.

"There is a special emphasis on anti-sabotage checks,
access control measures and intelligence coordination. The
entire route of the parade will be covered by special security
and anti-terror arrangements.

"Elaborate air defence measures, including deployment
of anti-aircraft guns, have also been taken to check intrusion
of air space," a senior police official said.

Besides the air defence measures, helicopters of the
Indian Air Force will hover around Rajpath and all along the
route of the parade.

Patrolling in crowded market areas has been
intensified and checking and frisking in Metro, railway
stations and bus terminals tightened. Security at the IGI
airport was also strengthened in coordination with the CISF.

Checking and frisking have also been intensified at
all entry points with police setting up barricades to keep a
vigil on all those entering the capital.

No vehicles will be allowed to ply on the Rajpath from
6.00 pm on January 25 while vehicular movement will be affected
on Tilak Marg, Bahadurshah Zafar Marg, Netaji Subhash Marg
upto Red Fort from 4.00 am the next day.

PTI