A multi-layer security blanket has been thrown around the national capital on Republic Day with anti-aircraft guns and light machine guns (LMG) positioned at vantage points in view of intelligence inputs that terror groups may target some important installations in the national capital.
Security personnel have been given clear instructions to bring down any aerial object flying without permission. A ‘NOTAM’ (Notice to Airmen) has been declared from 10.35 am to 12.15 pm during which no flights will land or take off at the Indira Gandhi International Airport.
Special arrangements have been made at the historic Rajpath where President Pranab Mukherjee, who is the Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services, will be witnessing nation’s military might that will be on display.
French President Francois Hollande, who is the Chief Guest of this year’s Republic Day, will be seated along with Mr Mukherjee and host of VVIPs including Vice President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
As a precautionary measure, LMGs have been positioned at 10 vantage points along the route which the parade will take.
“Specially trained police personnel with light machine guns have been deployed at 10 strategic spots in New Delhi area,” a senior police official said.
Besides the entire might of Delhi Police, personnel from paramilitary forces have also been pressed into security duty service.
Ahead of the Republic Day celebrations, central security agencies and NIA busted a module by arresting 14 members of a terror group which was taking diktats from banned terror group ISIS. The group had planned to carry out sensational strikes at important installations and its members had also visited the national capital, official sources said.
The senior official said that sniper had been put on 45 buildings overlooking Rajpath besides providing a similar cover along all the buildings along the parade route.
Meanwhile, the airspace will remain out of bounds for commercial flights arriving and departing out of the IGI airport between 10.35 am and 12.15 pm today. Around 60 arrivals and departures take place at the IGI airport during this period, for which the notice was issued by the Airports Authority of India.
As many as 1000 traffic officials have been issued revolvers so that they can deal with any untoward incident amid heavy security arrangements across the city involving around 25,000 police officials.
“We are coordinating with central security forces and adequate security arrangements have been made,” Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi said.