Security beefed up in Delhi ahead of Independence Day

August 8th, 2011 - 7:04 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 8 (IANS) Ahead of Independence Day next week, security is being beefed up in the capital, especially keeping in mind the July 13 Mumbai blasts. The areas near the Red Fort, from where the prime minister will address the nation, are being combed thoroughly, police said Monday.

Large scale deployment of police personnel, commandos and sleuths in plain clothes has been made, especially around the Red Fort, Old Delhi and central Delhi.

Commandos and armed personnel from central para-military forces will also be deployed in the area, aimed at securing vital spots, entry and exit points at vulnerable locations.

“Our priority is to make our presence felt and to keep an eye on any suspicious persons…we also try and develop a rapport with the local community so that they feel obliged to assist us in the fight against terrorism,” a senior police official near the Red Fort said.

“The prime minister will be addressing the nation on Aug 15 and any untoward incident in this area would not only put Delhi Police in bad light but also the whole country,” he said.

“After the recent Mumbai blasts, Delhi Police are not taking any chances and this area, including Chandni Chowk, is being combed like when we go searching for terrorists after a tip-off,” he added.

All hotels, motels, guest houses and restaurants are under the scanner of the police. Even rickshaw-pullers and vendors in the area are being asked to keep a lookout for any suspicious objects or people.

More than 10,000 Delhi Police personnel will be deployed in the Red Fort and surrounding areas along with snipers, army and National Security Guard (NSG) commandos to make the area attack-proof.

“Last year we had installed 30 CCTV cameras on and around roads leading to the Red Fort, and this time it will be more than 50. Quick Reaction Teams will be deployed on the D-day and there will be patrolling of skies by helicopters. The area will also be a no-fly zone during the function,” said the official.

Meanwhile, a senior Delhi Police official said that security is not only limited to the Red Fort and Jama Masjid area but the security apparatus is being beefed up in the entire capital.

“There have been co-ordination meetings with various security agencies and police of neighbouring districts in the past two weeks. But starting Tuesday up to Aug 15, you will see much higher police presence on the roads and at sensitive installations, including railway stations, markets, malls and Metro stations,” the official said.

Additionally, intensive drives for verification of tenants, servants, guest houses, second hand scooter and car dealers, cyber cafe users and cycle sellers are being carried out across the city to thwart any possible terror attempt.

Delhi Police have also intensified checking on the city’s borders and traffic police are likely to issue more challans during the week.

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