Most metro cities in India are usually on high alert before and after Republic Day celebrations every year. New Delhi, especially, turns into a fortress with the armed forces deployed much ahead of the day of the parade.
This year, the Intelligence Bureau has warned that Pakistan-based terrorist groups may try to enter India with fake Afghan IDs.
NDTV reports that Special Protection Group has asked the Delhi police to be on vigil and widen its search around the city, especially in buildings within 2.5 km of the Rajpath, where the parade takes place every year.
Usually, the parade sees political and government leaders across party lines as guests, making it a high security concern for the armed forces. Apart from leaders, the Republic Day parade also has hundreds of civilians as an audience.
NDTV reported that SPG Director AK Sinha discussed the issue with the chief of the Intelligence Bureau and has asked for 'spotters' to be posted along the route of the parade.
The Intelligence Bureau, has also reportedly identified a list of vulnerable areas across the National Capital.
IndiaToday reported on Tuesday that 39 localities have been identified and that newly build hotels are also under the radar because terrorists may take shelter there.
This year, for the first time, to counter any possible terrorist attack on the parade using non-conventional weapons, the National Disaster Relief Force will deploy a team of 90 personnel from its CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) unit at Rajpath during the parade.
Earlier this week, IANS reported Joint Commissioner of Police (JCP) Deependra Pathak as saying, "In view of the terror threat, over 25,000 policemen have been deployed in Delhi. The police teams will also be deployed in crowded markets, bus stops, railway stations, airport and malls."
Pathak also said that policemen in plain clothes will be deployed along the route of the parade and even in the VIP enclosures.
A senior police official requesting anonymity told IANS: "Security personnel have been given clear instructions to bring down any aerial object flying without permission."
As a precautionary measure, light machine guns (LMGs) have been positioned at several points along the parade route.
"Specially trained police personnel with LMGs have been deployed at several strategic spots in New Delhi area," the police official said.
"A 'NOTAM' (Notice to Airmen) will also be declared for a few hours on Republic Day, during which no flights will land or take off at the Indira Gandhi International Airport," the officer said.
He said that snipers will be placed on several buildings overlooking Rajpath.
(With inputs from IANS)
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