Heavy security cover in Delhi on Independence Day
New Delhi, Aug 15: A hawk-eyed vigil will be maintained across the national capital on the 75nd Independence Day on Sunday with a multi-layered security cover in place at the historic Red Fort from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation.
Security cover has been beefed up in the city and forces are on high alert to thwart any untoward incident as police have intensified patrolling and deployed extra pickets at vital installations. Borders have also been sealed to ensure no untoward incident takes place in the national capital and strict action will be taken against anyone who tries to disrupt the law and order situation, police officials said.
The multi-layered security ring, including NSG snipers, elite SWAT commandos, kite catchers, canine units and sharpshooters on high-rise buildings, has been placed around the Mughal-era fort, and adherence to social distancing norms will be must like last year due to the Covid pandemic.
According to the police, anti-drone systems have also been installed at the Red Fort in view of the recent terror attack at the IAF station in Jammu airport where Pakistan-based terrorists used drones to strike the vital installation for the first time.
India's Olympic contingent are the special guests at the Red Fort on August 15. Over 350 cameras have been installed and their footage is being monitored round-the- clock through two police control rooms situated in and around the fort area, police said.
There are around 5,000 security personnel at the monument and they will adhere to social distancing norms, they said. The Delhi Police had erected a huge wall of shipping containers decorated with graffiti for the first time earlier this month at the main gate of Red Fort for security reasons. The containers have been placed in such a way that no one will be able to see inside the premises of the fort when the prime minister addresses the nation. Nobody will be able to peek inside the fort from Chandani Chowk and adjoining areas, the police said.
The move comes after many farmer protesting against farm bills reached the Red Fort driving tractors and entered the monument on January 26 and hoisted a religious flag. Over 70 police vehicles -- including PCR vans, 'PRAKHAR' vans and QRT (Quick Reaction Team) vans -- have been stationed at the area as part of the security deployment along with intensified patrolling by police personnel on motorcycles, the police said. Patrolling on motorboats is being carried out in the Yamuna river by the Delhi Police to ensure no untoward incident takes place in the city. Security arrangements have also been tightened at the Delhi borders where thousands of farmers have been protesting for over seven months against the centre's new agri laws.
The police have already carried out anti-sabotage checks in the area and visited hotels in the vicinity in search of suspicious elements, officials said, adding security verification of the residents, including tenants and servants, has also been conducted. The Red Fort has already been closed for public, officials said. Police personnel have been asked to keep an eye in the sky to ensure that no stray kites are seen in the area during Independence Day celebrations.
The Delhi Traffic Police had also issued an advisory for the function at the Red Fort to ensure safe and smooth flow of vehicles across the city. Eight roads -- Netaji Subhash Marg, Lothian Road, SP Mukherjee Marg, Chandni Chowk Road, Nishad Raj Marg, Esplanade Road and its Link Road to Netaji Subhash Marg, Ring Road from Rajghat to ISBT and Outer Ring Road from ISBT to IP flyover -- will be closed for general public from 4 am to 10 am, the advisory said.
Flying of sub-conventional aerial platforms like para-gliders, para-motors, hang gliders, UAVs, micro light aircraft, remotely piloted aircraft, hot air balloons, small size powered aircraft, quadcopters or para-jumping from aircraft are prohibited over the jurisdiction of National Capital Territory of Delhi up to August 16. The Delhi Police had seized a drone flying near Vijay Ghat, the backside of the Red Fort.
The Jaguar highway patrolling team of north district was keeping a vigil in the area on Monday when it saw the drone near Vijay Ghat. A web series was being shot there, police said, adding permission was granted to shoot the show but sanction had not been given to fly a drone. A case was registered under relevant sections at Kotwali police station and the device seized.