Top politicians on terror hit list? Security tightened


New Delhi : Security was further tightened in and around the Red Fort, from where the prime minister will address the nation on the Independence Day, following intelligence inputs that some terror outfits were planning to target top politicians and prominent buildings in the capital.

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“We have received inputs from various intelligence agencies that some militant outfits are planning to target politicians and buildings of national importance,” Delhi Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) S.N. Srivastva said Wednesday.

He said Delhi Police were on a high alert and put in place an unparalleled ground-to-air security apparatus for the Independence Day celebrations Friday. Security will be tighter and flawless in view of the series of terror attacks in the country this year.

The security agencies say no inputs can be taken lightly in view of the serial blasts in Jaipur, Bangalore and Ahmedabad, which left scores of people killed and hundreds wounded this year.

The entire Red Fort complex in the heart of Delhi, where the country’s top political leadership will be present for official celebrations, has been sanitized and several areas have been sealed off for the general public.

“This time around, Delhi Police personnel have laid special stress on anti-sabotage and anti-explosive checks, tight access control and vigil on VIP routes,” Srivastva added.

Quick reaction teams are also in place. According to police officials, 170 companies of Delhi Police and paramilitary forces have been deployed along with the commandos of National Security Guard (NSG) and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).

Security has also been tightened at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, the parliament complex, inter-state bus terminals, railway stations, popular markets and leading cinema houses besides the Delhi Metro network.

The security agencies have decided to deploy snipers, metal detectors, x-ray machines, sniffer dogs, radio frequency jammers and CCTVs at all major public places. Specialised units drawn from several wings of Delhi Police will be on alert to thwart any terror attacks.

Besides, suitable air defence measures have also been taken to counter possible aerial threats.

“The capital will be declared a no-fly zone for the morning of Aug 15 and air defence guns would be placed at strategic locations to ward off possible aerial attacks by unmanned or microlight aircraft,” Srivastva added.

Delhi Police are maintaining close coordination with their counterparts in the neighbouring states to avert any plans by militants to sneak into the capital. Checking at all points leading to the city is being beefed up.

Srivastva said vehicular movement would be limited around the Red Fort Thursday, patrolling will be intensive in the walled city and snipers will be deployed at all vantage buildings around the 17th century fort.

Commercial vehicles will be barred from entering the capital Thursday. All inter-state buses would be allowed to enter Delhi but their movement would be restricted near the Red Fort.

Police advised people to use Metro trains to avoid traffic jams and inconvenience on the city roads.

On Independence Day roads to be closed for general traffic from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. are: the Netaji Subash Marg from Delhi Gate to Chatta Rail, Lothian Raod from GPO Delhi to Chatta Rail, S.P. Mukherjee Marg from H.C. Sen Marg to Yamuna Bazar Chowk, Chandni Chowk from Fountain to Red Fort Chowk, New Darya Ganj Road from the Ring Road to Netaji Subash Marg and Link Road between Esplanade Road and Netaji Subhash Marg.