New Delhi, Jan 26: Hundreds of enthusiastic people who braved the winter chill and travel restrictions to turn up at the Rajpath to witness the Republic Day parade had a bitter experience with police denying them entry citing overcrowding though they possessed valid tickets.
Police personnel at the venue refused entry to several valid ticket and pass holders saying the stands were already filled and they cannot allow them inside as it may lead to security issues.
A thick security blanket was thrown around the capital today with thousands of armed personnel keeping a tight vigil to thwart any possible terror strike or any untoward incident during the Republic Day celebrations.
Snipers with sophisticated arms were on high-rises while hundreds of police personnel kept the eight km parade route from Rajpath to Red Fort under their watch to ensure that the event passed peacefully. Around 25,000 police personnel, including those from paramilitary forces and sharpshooters from the elite National Security Guards (NSG) were deployed across the city in the run-up to the national celebrations.
Policemen kept a tab on the visuals from over 160 CCTVs between Rajpath and Red Fort, the route of the parade. Mobile hit teams, anti-aircraft guns and sharpshooters of the NSG were also on the job at various places while paramilitary and Delhi Police commandos kept a close watch along the route. "There was a special emphasis on anti-sabotage checks, access control measures and intelligence coordination. The entire route of the parade was covered by special security and anti-terror arrangements.
"Elaborate air defence measures, including deployment of anti-aircraft guns, were also taken to check intrusion of air space," a senior police official said. Besides the air defence measures, helicopters of the Indian Air Force hovered around Rajpath and all along the route of the parade.