New Delhi: A day ahead of Independence Day, Delhi was put on high alert with more than 6,000 security personnel being deployed at the Red Fort, from where the prime minister will address the nation, and nearby areas, police said.
The security personnel – including those from Delhi Police and paramilitary forces – are to keep vigil at the fort and in central Delhi, an official said.
Special Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Dharmendra Kumar said that besides Delhi Police personnel and commandos, security officials in plain clothes and snipers had been deployed around the Red Fort.
“Since Tuesday midnight, the security will be increased and around 80 companies of security forces (around 6,000 personnel) will be deployed at the Red Fort and the surrounding central Delhi areas,” Dharmendra Kumar told IANS.
“A team of snipers, the army, the National Security Guard (NSG) commandos, along with Delhi Police, will man the fort in a multi-tier security arrangement,” he said.
Delhi Police and traffic police personnel have spread out across the city to secure important places as well as entry and exit points at “vulnerable locations”, the officer said.
All highrise buildings, hotels, guest houses, markets and restaurants in Paharganj, Jama Masjid and areas near the Red Fort were under the police scanner, he said.
Even rickshaw-pullers and vendors in the area were being asked to keep a lookout for suspicious objects and people, police said.
Dharmendra Kumar said “security is not only limited to the Red Fort and Jama Masjid area, but an elaborate security arrangement has been put in place in the entire capital”.
“Intensive checking drives are also on at the airport, railway stations, Metro stations, bus stops, markets, malls and the border areas,” he said.
“Every nook and corner and roads leading to the Red Fort are being monitored by hundreds of CCTV cameras. Quick reaction teams will be deployed on Independence Day and there will be surveillance by helicopters. The area will also be a no-fly zone during the function,” said the officer.
Since the beginning of last week, enhanced security has been in place in entire Delhi, and on Independence Day (I-Day) Wednesday all the district police force will be on roads and at sensitive locations, he said.
“Normal vehicle movement towards the Red Fort and the walled city will be stopped between 5 am and 9 am Wednesday,” said Dharmendra Kumar.
The intensive drives have been conducted for verification of tenants, servants, guest houses, dealers of used scooters and cars, cyber cafe users and cycle sellers across the city, he said.