Bangalore, Aug 14: Heightened security measures and close vigil have turned the Field Marshal Manekshaw Parade Ground here into a fortress for the 67th Independence Day (I-Day) celebrations on Thursday.
"Entry of unauthorised persons into the parade ground and assembling of people around the venue have been banned till Thursday evening to secure the area for the Independence Day events," Additional Commissioner of Police (Law & Order) Kamal Panth said on Wednesday.
Located in the heart of the city across the famous Cubbon Park and popular hangouts like M.G. Road and Brigade Road, the sprawling parade ground has been sanitised for the main I-Day event where Karnataka Chief Minister K. Siddaramaiah will inspect a guard of honour and unfurl the tricolour.
"About 1,200 personnel drawn from various contingents have been deployed in and around the ground to prevent any untoward incident and ensure the event is held peacefully. Police across the city are also on high alert as part of the security drill, with reinforcements at vital installations and in sensitive (VIP) areas," Panth asserted.
As part of the elaborate security arrangements, about 40 closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras have been installed in and around the venue to monitor movement of people, participants and dignitaries. Special commandos have also been stationed at strategic points at the venue for quick response or emergency rescue operation.
Police and the army, in charge of the parade ground, have pressed into service a bomb squad and sniffer dogs to detect unidentified objects and harmful substances. Metal detectors have been installed at all entry points around the venue for frisking and preventing people from carrying banned items inside.
After flag-hoisting ceremony and delivering the I-Day speech in the presence of Governor H.R. Bhardwaj, cabinet ministers, opposition leaders, defence personnel, officials and special invitees, the chief minister will witness the parade in which about 2,000 personnel, including 56 platoons and police, scouts and guides will participate with their respective music bands in attendance.
About 3,000 schoolchildren will present cultural shows and render patriotic songs.
Besides restricting and regulating traffic movement, police have banned vehicular parking in and 1 km around the ground. Barring a few VIP vehicles, cars or bikes will not be allowed at the venue till the event is over Thursday noon.
"Vehicular traffic will be diverted from the ground for VIP movement and to prevent traffic jam, so the public can easily reach the venue on foot," Panth added.