New Delhi, Jan 24: A multi-layer high-security grid has been activated around Rajpath for the Republic Day celebrations in line with threat perception assessment made by security agencies to safeguard the high-profile event from a possible terror attack.
The security for the grand Republic Day parade is an elaborate affair as the nation’s pride is at display at the mega event showcasing the country’s military might and cultural diversity. More than 5,000 personnel will be on guard on ground zero and around apart from surveillance through electronic devices, hundreds of high-resolution face-reading cameras and communication jammers.
The security forces are geared up to deal with aerial threats as well with drones keeping a hawk-eye on activities on the ground during the duration of parade. Anti-aircraft guns, snipers and crack teams are ready to meet any eventuality.
A breakdown of the security structure shows the following grid in place:
As usual, the boots on the ground will be the vast entourage of the Delhi police personnel. They are the visible faces of the otherwise discreet network. Apart from crowd management and general area sanitization, the Delhi Police has made fully deployment of its newly raised Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) anti-terror squads. Each of the SWAT unit is armed with MPS submachine guns and Glock 21 pistols and has been trained in Israeli Krav Maga unarmed combat. The Delhi police also has NSG-trained Parakram teams specially formed to deal with terror attacks as first points of contact.
National Security Guard
The elite “black cat” commandos of National Security Guard (NSG), India’s specialised anti-urban terror outfit, will be out in full force to deal with any eventuality. The operational capabilities of the NSG units have been enhanced substantially over the years to deal with all kinds of threat perceptions. The units will be out around the parade venue with armoured personnel carriers, spy cam drones, bullet resistant sheets and automatic submachine guns and pistols.
Special Protection Group
The full component of Prime Minister’s security apparatus is deployed at the Republic Day. The Prime minister will receive President Ram Nath Kovind and the visiting South African president Cyril Ramaphosa who is the guest of honour at the parade. The SPG PM’s convoy has ballistic shield and advanced communication system and jammers.
The Indian Air Force
the IAF radars will keep a strict watch on the aerial activities in and around Delhi. The airspace over Delhi will be restricted as the IAF fighter jets will carry out a fly past over Rajpath. Special surveillance is on low-flying objects which go undetected by radars. Counter measures to deal with all forms of aerial threats are in place.
Central Industrial Security Force
The CISF personnel will sanitize all the buildings along Rajpath to ensure they are locked and out of bound a day before the parade. The compounds are combed and sealed after securing the roof-tops where sharp shooters are deployed.
The intelligence agencies
The information from intelligence agencies flows constantly for action as there have been inputs about heightened activities in Jammu and Kashmir and threats from ISIS modules in India are looming large. Special emphasis is on keeping track on these activities.
By Gautam Datt
(Gautam Datt can be contacted at [email protected])