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Choppers to guard Delhi on I-Day

Choppers of the Indian Air Force will jointly work with Delhi Police to guard the capital, especially the Red Fort from where Prime Minister will address the nation on I-Day.

delhi Updated: Aug 13, 2007 20:33 IST

Choppers of the Indian Air Force will jointly work with Delhi Police to guard the capital, especially the historic Red Fort from where Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will address the nation on Independence Day on Wednesday.

"Air force choppers in association with the city police will keep a hawk's eye over minute developments in and around the Red Fort," SB Deol, the special commissioner of Delhi Police who is in charge of security, said on Monday.

"We have roped in the services of at least two choppers - one will remain with the prime minister's convoy and the other will guard the border area adjoining the capital," Deol added.

The historic Red Fort in Delhi's old city has been closed to the public for the past week and thousands of security personnel have been posted to foil any sabotage attempt.

Asked about threats by Al- Qaeda to strike in India as well as the failed terror attacks in Britain, Deol said no such inputs were received this year.

"This year we have not received any terror threat from militant groups ahead of Independence Day celebrations in the city, but we have made unprecedented security arrangements to prevent any untoward situation," he said.

As part of the protective measures, areas surrounding the Red Fort would be turned into a "no-fly zone" on Wednesday. In addition, train services will also be suspended near the Red Fort at least a night before.

While speaking about traffic arrangements in the city on Wednesday, Joint Commissioner of Police Qamar Ahmed said people wishing to attend the function at the Red fort are strongly advised to utilise the services of Delhi Metro.

"We advise people to use Metro rail to avoid any travel inconvenience, as traffic routes connecting the Fort have been diverted. They can come to Chandni Chowk via Metro and then they can walk towards the venue," Ahmed told reporters during a press conference.

Ahmed informed that six routes - the Netaji Subash Marg from the Delhi Gate to Chatta Rail, Lothian Road from GPO Delhi to Chatta Rail, SP Mukherjee Marg from HC Sen Marg to Yamuna Bazar Chowk, Chandni Chowk from Fountain to Red Fort Chowk, New Darya Ganj Road from Ring Road to Netaji Subash Marg and Link Road to Esplanade Road to Netaji Subash Marg will be completely closed from 5.00 am to 9.00 am on Wednesday.

"Public transport and other buses, plying close to the Fort, will also be halted a few kilometres before the venue," Ahmed said.

"We have also put up signs and banners for the vehicular traffic destined for the Red Fort function at all important traffic junctions," he said.

However, he maintained that roads leading to hospitals, railway stations, the airport and the interstate bus terminal would remain open.