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Delhi turns into fortress ahead of R-Day, over 27K personnel deployed

“A total force of 27,723 personnel are deployed in Delhi,” the Delhi Police chief said in a press conference.

IANS | New Delhi |

Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana on Sunday said that over 27,000 personnel have been deployed in the national capital in view of the Republic Day.

“A total force of 27,723 personnel are deployed in Delhi,” the Delhi Police chief said in a press conference.

He further said that the total force includes 71 Deputy Commissioners of Police (DCPs), 213 ACPs, 713 Inspectors, Delhi Police Commandos, Armed Battalion officers and Jawans and 65 companies of the Central Armed Police Force.

The Commissioner said that for the past two months, the Delhi Police have been taking intensified anti-terror measures in the national capital. “Delhi has always remained a target for anti-social elements. This year too we are on alert. For the past two months, we are taking intensified anti-terror measures in Delhi in coordination with other security agencies,” Asthana said.

Notably, Delhi is currently under a heavy security cover after the intelligence agencies received inputs of a possible terror attack in the city in wake of the Republic day. “In the past two months you may have seen several police blockades around the city, checking of vehicles, hotels, lodges and verification of servants, tenants and labourers,” Asthana said, adding that vehicles are being thoroughly checked at all the entry and exit points of the national capital.

The Commissioner informed that the police have also secured the air space with ‘Counter Rogue Drone’ technology in and around the area where the celebrations will take place. “For this we have also taken help from other agencies to completely secure the area,” he said.

Commissioner Asthana had recently in an order said that as per the reports, certain criminal or anti-social elements or terrorists inimical to India may pose a threat to the safety of the general public, dignitaries and vital installations.In view of this, the Delhi Police chief put a ban on the use of sub-conventional aerial platforms like para-gliders, para-motors, hang gliders, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), micro-light aircraft, remotely-piloted aircraft, hot air balloons, small-size powered aircraft, quadcopters or even para-jumping from aircraft etc.

Sharing more details about the security scenario, the top cop said that apart from Delhi Police’s internal meetings for security arrangements, interstate coordination meetings were also held. “We also held meetings with DGPs, ADGs, CID Crime and ATS chiefs of other states to ensure full proof security,” he said.

As the social media remains a major tool for anti-social elements to spread misinformation, the Delhi Police chief said that their social media cell has been proactively monitoring all the activities. “Apart from awareness campaigns, we are also using social media to disseminate important and factual information so that no anti-social element is able to run a misinformation campaign,” said the Commissioner.

The Delhi Police chief added that the security arrangements have also been made after coordinating with the officers of all the agencies working in the Central Vista project.

Earlier, Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi district) Deepak Yadav, while speaking to IANS, had informed that adequate arrangements have been made in and around the Rajpath for the Republic day parade. “Around 300 cameras with face-recognition facilities have been installed around the Rajpath to thwart any threat beforehand,” Yadav said.

In view of the existing threat, the New Delhi DCP said that specially trained commandos of the Delhi Police and paramilitary forces would be deployed to counter any threat. “Apart from the police commandos, assault teams of SWAT, Special Cell and Hit teams of NSG would also be deployed,” Yadav said.

As the usage of drone while carrying out terror attacks have risen in the recent past, the DCP said any flying object that breaches the security cordons in and around the area of Rajpath will be taken care of.

Meanwhile, around 1,000 drones, 75 military aircraft and tableaux of 12 states and Union Territories and nine ministries will be part of the Republic Day celebrations at Rajpath in the national capital.

Interestingly, the government has introduced two important changes — Republic Day celebration week will be held from January 23 to January 30 and the main function will begin 30 minutes later on January 26. It will begin at 10.30 a.m. in place of 10 a.m. to let visibility improve by the time flypast takes place.

The celebrations will begin from January 23 to mark the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. It will end on January 30 to commemorate Martyrs Day.

Further, a number of visitors at the Republic Day parade has been curtailed significantly. Last year when the first Covid-19 wave was ebbing down around 25,000 visitors were allowed. This year, the number has been significantly curtailed between 5,000 and 8,000 and still is being worked out as Covid-19 cases have increased significantly.