Republic Day celebrations today: Additional security, anti-aircraft guns deployed (File Photo)
Women commandos, mobile hit teams, anti-aircraft guns and sharpshooters have been deployed at strategic locations to keep a close watch on the eight-km-long Republic Day parade route from Rajpath to the Red Fort in central Delhi. According to Delhi Police, Parakram vans, manned by NSG-trained commandos, have been patrolling strategic locations to ensure that security is not jeopardised.
Elaborate measures, including the deployment of anti-aircraft guns, have also been put in place to secure the airspace over Delhi, police said. A senior police officer said around 25,000 security personnel have been deployed at strategic locations in central Delhi, which were on the target of two terrorists arrested ahead of the 70th Republic Day celebrations.
The JeM members had identified Lajpat Nagar market, Haj Manzil, Turkman Gate, Paharganj, India Gate and IGL gas pipeline in east Delhi as potential targets, police said. A multi-layer security arrangement has been made. Thirty-six women commandos of Delhi Police's Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) unit, who were formally inducted in August last year, will be part of the security deployment. Snipers have been stationed atop high-rises while scores of CCTV cameras are keeping a tight vigil on people's movements on the parade route.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Madhur Verma said CCTV cameras and face-recognition cameras have been installed. Police are using counter-drone technology to thwart any attack or identify suspicious flying objects, a senior police officer said. Security officials have identified vulnerable spots such as crowded markets, railway stations, bus stands and other high-value establishments, and secured them. The traffic police have deployed 3,000 personnel to manage route diversions and ensure a safe and secure passage for the visiting dignitaries.
Restrictions will be put in place for smooth conduct of the Republic Day parade between Vijay Chowk and Red Fort Grounds, traffic police officials said. Metro services will be available for commuters at all stations on Republic Day, but there will be no boarding and de-boarding at Central Secretariat and Udyog Bhawan stations from 5 am to 12 pm.
Boarding and de-boarding will not be allowed between 8.45am and 12 pm at Lok Kalyan Marg (Race Course) and Patel Chowk metro stations, they said. The parade will start at 9.50am from Vijay Chowk and pass through Rajpath, Tilak Marg, Bahadur Shah Zafar (BSZ) Marg, Netaji Subhash Marg and proceed for the Red Fort. A function will be held at India Gate at 9 am, traffic police said.
According to a traffic advisory, no vehicle will be allowed on Rajpath, from Vijay Chowk to India Gate, from 6 pm on January 25 till the parade is over. No cross-traffic will be allowed on Rajpath from 11.00pm on January 25 at Rafi Marg, Janpath, Man Singh Road till the parade is over and ?C'-Hexagon-India Gate will be closed for vehicular movement from 2 am on January 26 till the parade crosses Tilak Marg, it said.
On Republic Day, no vehicular movement will be allowed on Tilak Marg, BSZ Marg and Subhash Marg in both directions from 10 am onwards, Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Alok Kumar said.
Flying of sub-conventional aerial platforms like paragliders, paramotors, hang gliders, UAVs, UASs, microlight 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 from January 9 to February 9, the advisory said. Patrolling in public places has been intensified and checking and frisking at metro stations, railway stations and bus terminals tightened.