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Republic Day celebrations to take place in Kolkata with no spectators

The Republic Day celebrations in Kolkata will be subdued this year in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic

Republic Day | Coronavirus | Coronavirus Tests

Press Trust of India  |  Kolkata 

Kolkata: A police constable uses a thermal screening device on a commuter at Howrah bridge, during a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus, in Kolkata, Sunday, April 26, 2020. (PTI Photo/Swapan Mahapatra)
Kolkata: A police constable uses a thermal screening device on a commuter at Howrah bridge | File photo: PTI

The celebrations in Kolkata will be subdued this year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic with no spectators being allowed, a senior official said on Monday.

Only a few dignitaries, including Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar and select top state government officials, will be present to witness the parade at Red Road in the heart of the city, he said.

Around 200 contingents will take part in the parade on Tuesday, the state government official told PTI.

"This year, the parade will be shorter in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. No spectators will be allowed at Red Road like the previous years. Only a few VVIPs other than the CM, the governor and a few senior bureaucrats have been invited," he said.

The seating arrangements have been made following the COVID-19 protocols of physical distancing, he added.

Usually, the entire Maidan area around the venue is barricaded as thousands of enthusiasts come to the city to witness the parade, a senior Kolkata Police officer said.

"However, this year we have decided to put the barricades only around the surrounding areas of the Red Road to stop the entry of the common people to the venue," he said.

The work to barricade the venue started on Sunday, the officer said.

At least 1,000 policepersons along with security personnel of the Heavy Radio Flying Squad and Radio Flying Squad will be deployed in and around the Red Road area, he said.

"Senior officers of the rank of assistant commissioners and 12 deputy commissioners will be on duty at the venue for the celebrations. Adequate security arrangements are in place. We will not take any chances," he added.

Sniffer dogs and bomb squad personnel will be scrutinising the venue and the surrounding areas from time to time to ensure foolproof security, the officer said.

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First Published: Mon, January 25 2021. 14:57 IST