Delhi turns into fortress ahead of R-Day

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New Delhi, Jan 25 (PTI) Delhi today geared up for theRepublic Day celebrations with the city turning into a virtualsecurity fortress as thousands of armed personnel kept vigiland authorities rushed through final touches for the event.

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

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

A senior security official said UAVs of the Air Forceare being deployed for surveillance besides the usualdeployment of helicopters. "The UAVs will not only keep an eyeon the parade route but entire Delhi," the official said.

Ensuring air security and for the flypast, theairspace over the capital will remain closed for an hourtomorrow from 11.15 AM to 12.15 PM.

Mobile hit teams, anti-aircraft guns and sharpshootersof the NSG are also on the job at various places whileparamilitary and Delhi Police commandos were keeping a closewatch along the route of the eight-kilometre long Republic Dayparade from Raisana Hills to Red Fort.

Snipers are on top of the high-rise buildings whilearound 100 CCTVs were keep a tight vigil on people''s movementbetween Rajpath and Red Fort, the route of the parade whichshowcases India''s military might and cultural diversity.

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

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

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

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

Patrolling in crowded market areas has beenintensified and checking and frisking in Metro, railwaystations and bus terminals tightened. Security at the IGIairport was also strengthened in coordination with the CISF.

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

No vehicles will be allowed to ply on the Rajpath from6 pm on January 25 while vehicular movement will be affectedon Tilak Marg, Bahadurshah Zafar Marg, Netaji Subhash Margupto Red Fort from 4 am the next day.

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