Delhi on high alert ahead of Republic Day


New Delhi : On high alert ahead of Republic Day, Delhi Police have asked all citizens including shopkeepers, security guards, auto rickshaw drivers, bus drivers/conductors and parking lot attendants to keep a strict vigil on suspicious people and objects.

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“We have requested members of residential welfare associations, second-hand car dealers, shopkeepers, street vendors, property agents, guesthouse owners and other alert citizens to become the eyes and ears of police,” said Delhi Police spokesman Rajan Bhagat.

“We have requested them to be alert as they are present everywhere in the city and come across scores of people everyday. Every citizen is a useful source of information to police and can help by dialling 1090 about any suspicious persons or activities particularly unidentified objects, individuals leaving behind bags/luggage or any unattended articles,” Bhagat told IANS.

Delhi Police are also keeping a close watch on small hotels in the city, seeking details of tenants from landlords and of Internet users from cyber café owners – especially in the wake of terror blasts in three Uttar Pradesh courts that claimed at least 13 lives in November.

The terrorists had used an east Delhi cyber café to send out a threat email minutes before carrying out the Uttar Pradesh blasts.

Police have sounded a high alert in all 10 districts of the city and held many people in the past few days, mainly cyber café owners and house owners who have not furnished details of the Internet users and their tenants.

The Delhi Police Special Cell, a wing dedicated to combat terrorism, has made elaborate arrangements and deployed personnel in all major areas.

“We have deployed special commandos, both in uniform and in mufti, at all major places. Special checks are also on at all roads,” said Alok Kumar, deputy commissioner of police (Special Cell).

Several roads in and around India Gate, which the Republic Day parade will pass Jan 26, have been blocked for security reasons.

“We are carrying out regular checks of passing vehicles and have installed special closed-circuit TV cameras on certain roads, buildings, busy market places, interstate bus terminals, railway stations and some colonies,” a senior police official said.

“Nearly as many anti-aircraft guns, installed at undisclosed locations, would scan the horizon around India Gate and Rajpath to engage any airborne target. Other hi-tech security measures are also in place,” the official said.

Deployment of paramilitary forces at the airport and Delhi Metro stations has been beefed up.

“We have increased the number of personnel both at Delhi Metro and the Indira Gandhi International Airport. As the airport is an important transit point, we are checking every person at the airport and have instructed airlines not to allow liquid material on board,” said Vertul Singh, spokesman of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) that is responsible for securing the airport and the metro system.

“The airport is being monitored and suspects are being questioned by our personnel. The aim is not to create inconvenience but to be alert and safe,” he said.

Rajiv Saxena, spokesman of the northern railways, said: “We have deployed more troopers of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) at all railway stations in the city. Additional dog squads and CCTV cameras are keeping a close watch.”