Security in place for peaceful I-Day celebrations

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New Delhi, Aug 14 (UNI) In the wake of the recent Ahmedabad-Bangalore blasts and prevailing threat perception, the Delhi Police, in close coordination with other security agencies, has geared itself for all contingencies with the deployment of nearly 12,000 personnel for the 62nd Independence Day celebrations.

While gun-toting commandos would look after the 'surface aspect', air-to-surface missiles would be taking care of any possible air intrusion, even as police undertakes one of the largest ever security deployments in the capital's history.

''The 'zameen-se-aasman tak' aspect of security has been looked into to ensure incident-free Independence Day celebrations,'' said a senior police official looking after I-Day security affairs.

With the memories of the bomb blasts in Ahmedabad and Bangalore last month still fresh, vigil has been stepped up in the National Capital with additional deployment of forces at sensitive places and increased surveillance at hotels, cyber cafes, guest houses and on the borders undertaken, he said.

To avoid taking any chance in the wake of the serial blasts in Ahmedabad and Bangalore, the Delhi Police have issued instructions to operators of hotels, guest houses, cyber cafes, telephone booths and taxi services to increase surveillance of activities on their premises and report any suspicious activity.

''The operators of these places have been asked to keep a record of their customers. Further, guest houses and cyber cafes have been asked to install CCTV cameras at the entrance and some other locations on their premises to facilitate increased surveillance of customers' activities.'' Besides, police have installed 34 CCTVs in crowded areas, besides additional deployment of security forces at sensitive locations like the Inter State Bus Terminals, Railway Stations, Airports and market places, according to police sources.

Additional deployment has also been made at the borders of the city with about 2,000 to 3,000 additional police personnel, including those from the Border Security Force, (BSF) Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the Rapid Action Force (RAF).

Traffic personnel have been asked to keep an eye on the security aspects in addition to their traffic management responsibilities.

A heavy security cordon has been thrown around the historic Red Fort, the venue of the Independence Day celebrations. Around 4,000 security personnel will man the area around the Red Fort.

Moreover, in view of intelligence inputs regarding some militant outfits intending to cause harm to prominent political figure and ''symbols of national importance'' security has been bolstered with a special focus on anti-sabotage measures, said another senior official.

He said 170 companies of security forces, including 30 paramilitary ones, would be deployed across the length and breadth of the capital and the forces would also include commandos drawn from the ITBP and the NSG.

Air defence measures were also being taken with the Red Fort being declared a no-fly zone and helicopter surveillance maintained till the celebrations were over, he added.

Entry of commercial vehicles in the capital would be banned from the midnight tonight and only interstate buses would be allowed inside the capital. However, Metros across the city would ply as usual.

Close coordination was being maintained with neighbouring states like Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana to check movement of people and other things across the national capital border.

A close eye was also being kept on guest houses and taxi stands, where militants could possibly seek shelter ahead of I-Day, he informed.

Special instructions for invitees and the public coming to the venue for the I-Day celebrations have been issued to not carry cameras, binoculars, handbags, briefcases, transistors, cigarette lighters, tiffin boxes, mobile phones and other such items.

On traffic movement in the capital, some roads, including Netaji Subash Marg from Delhi Gate to Chatta Rail, Chandni Chowk Road, New Darya Ganj Road and Link Road, would be closed for general traffic from 0500-0900 hrs and only labelled vehicles would be permitted.

Also, for better coordination and effective control over the situation senior officials of the police in the various states comprising the National Capital Region (NCR) had met earlier this week to review the security scenario ahead of Independence Day celebrations.

UNI AN SB CS1855

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