New Delhi: Bomb threats, hostage situations, mass casualty scenes and tracking of dubious characters in a given neighbourhood - these exercises were all part of the several contingency drills which kept Delhi Police officials on their toes till the evening a day before Independence Day.
Contingency drills are usually classified into mock drills specialising in hostage situation, mass evacuation, mass casualty and VIP route and VVIP management, a senior police official said today.
"Police officials who have been deployed in areas around Red Fort - where the Prime Minister is to deliver a speech tomorrow- were examined through all five tests without any exemption," said the senior official.
In the central district of Delhi Police, Daryaganj and Karol Bagh were the two locations selected for conducting contingency drills.
While in Karol Bagh a mass evacuation drill was designed based on input regarding a bomb threat at a crowded marketplace, police at Daryaganj were pushed into a door-to- door search involving the tracking of a suspicious character residing in the area without proper tenant verification, said a senior official.
"A team of around 25 officials were deployed in the Daryaganj drill and as many as 50 officials were involved in the drill at Karol Bagh. Both teams were led by Assistant Commissioners of the sub-divisions concerned," the official said.
One of the biggest contingency drills was organised in the outer district of Delhi Police, involving as many as 200 police personnel along with several bomb squad and riot control vehicles which were strategically placed at a popular shopping complex in Rohini sub-city on Thursday evening.
"Around 4 pm, a (mock) input was released that four suspected militants have taken people hostage inside the shopping complex. The entire building was then evacuated in 30 minutes," an official said.
Personnel from three police stations in the police sub- division concerned were deployed in the operation, which was led by an ACP, said the official.
In the northwest district, officials of local police and special staff were sent to various shopping malls, all of them armed, but dressed in civvies.
"That was more to monitor the alertness of the security guards present at the shopping malls - mostly the ones located near Netaji Subhash Place. This drill was conducted for around one week and several security guards were warned for negligence in duty," said the senior official.
The human intelligence network in view of terror threat was strengthened over one-and-a-half month back.
Teams of Special Cell and local police have been screening suspects and gathering information. Police is also carrying out checks and verification of occupants at hotels and other such accommodation in the city.
Additional manpower has been deployed at important public facilities like Delhi Metro and Indira Gandhi International Airport. Crowded places like marketplaces, railway stations, inter-state bus terminals and establishments of strategic importance are also being closely watched, the officials added.