New Delhi: Over 6,000 gun-toting security personnel, including Delhi police sleuths and paramilitary forces, are ready to keep a hawk-eye vigil in Delhi to pre-empt any possible terrorist strike during the Independence Day celebrations on Saturday.
An impregnable ground-to-air security apparatus has been put in place in the capital, especially around the 17th century Mughal monument Red Fort where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will unfurl the Tricolour and address the nation for the second time.
Amid intelligence warnings, the border areas of the city have been sealed. All the police personnel of the 180 police stations in the national capital have been deputed at every suspected crossing and intersections to keep proper watch on every moving vehicle and the activities of suspected people.
“Elaborate security arrangements have been made. Personnel from Delhi Police and paramilitary have been deployed for security. We are fully prepared to handle any unprecedented situation during the Independence Day celebration,” a senior police officer said.
The officer said localities around the Red Fort have been sanitised and informers deployed to keep a check on movement of suspicious people.
The Red Fort and areas within its five-kilometre radius has been covered by over 6,000 armed security personnel from Delhi Police, paramilitary forces and National Security Guard (NSG).
The officer said they have arranged special security for the prime minister as he is at the highest risk of a terror strike as compared to other VVIPs.
“A designated team of over 150 NSG commandos along with SWAT (Special Weapons And Tactics) unit and paramilitary forces will be positioned in the radius of 200-metre from the ramparts of the fort to guard the prime minister,” the officer told IANS on the condition of anonymity.
“The commandos will be equipped with fully automatic weapons, high-tech communication gadgets, body armour, protective helmets and other security measures. They are experts in handling multiple attacks at the same time.”
Besides sky patrols by helicopters, an air defence mechanism will also be put in place around the venue during the 69th I-Day celebrations.
Security personnel along with sharpshooters of the NSG have been placed on all high rise buildings around the Red Fort.
“Over 500 CCTVs have been installed in and around the Red Fort to keep a close watch on the area. A central control room has also been set up at Red Fort to constantly monitor the situation,” the official said.
Some ultra high-resolution cameras have been mounted on the towers of the fort to keep tabs on any suspicious activity within a 5-km radius of the historic monument.
The markets or places of strategic importance are being monitored by thousands of Delhi Police personnel and paramilitary forces. Several separate teams of security officials have already been deployed at market places, airport, railway stations, inter-state bus terminals, metro stations and places of strategic importance.
Netaji Subhash Marg, S.P. Mukherjee Marg, Chandni Chowk Road (from Fountain Chowk to Red Fort), Nisad Raj Marg and Link Road will be closed for general traffic from 5-9 a.m. on Saturday.
“There is a multilayer security arrangement in the capital on the Independence occasion. Outer security will be handled by Delhi Police while other tiers of security will be monitored by NSG and paramilitary forces,” the officer said.