SWAT women commandos, mobile hit teams, snipers are among the varied layers of security under which the national capital has been placed for the Republic Day celebrations. Elaborate measures, including deployment of anti-aircraft guns, were put in place to secure the airspace.
Following the arrest of two suspected Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) members, who were planning to carry out terror strikes in the city during the 70th Republic Day celebrations, Delhi had been placed under high-security cover to avoid any terror strike or untoward incident.
The arrested members of the JeM had identified Lajpat Nagar market, Haj Manzil, Turkman Gate, Paharganj, India Gate and the IGL gas pipeline in east Delhi as potential targets, police said.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will be the chief guest at the Republic Day parade. He will be the second South African president to be invited to the event as the chief guest.
Former South African president Nelson Mandela was the chief guest at the Republic Day parade in 1995. Multi-layer security arrangements are in place. Around 25,000 police personnel, including traffic officials, have been deployed. CCTV cameras and face-recognition cameras have also been installed at Rajpath, Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Madhur Verma said.
Mobile hit teams, anti-aircraft guns and sharpshooters have also been deployed to keep a watch on the eight-km-long parade route from Rajpath to the Red Fort, besides the nearby localities. Thirty-six women commandos of the Delhi Police's Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) unit, who were formally inducted in August last year, will also be part of the security arrangements.
Parakram vans, that are manned by NSG-trained commandos, had been patrolling strategic locations to ensure that security is not jeopardised. Snipers have been stationed atop high-rise buildings while scores of CCTV cameras are keeping a tight vigil on people's movements on the parade route. Nearly 25,000 security personnel drawn from the Delhi Police and central security forces were deployed in Central Delhi.
The police are also using counter-drone technology to thwart any attack or identify any suspicious flying object, a senior police officer said.
The traffic police also deployed 3,000 personnel to manage route diversions and ensure a safe and secure passage for the visiting dignitaries. Elaborate traffic arrangements and restrictions were put in place in Delhi for smooth conduct of the Republic Day parade between Vijay Chowk and Red Fort Grounds, traffic police officials said Friday.
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 till 12 noon.
Boarding and de-boarding will not be allowed between 8.45am to 12 noon 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 also be held at India Gate at 9 am, the 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 11.00 pm 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 para- gliders, para motors, 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.