Hawk eye on snakes and lizards during Independence Day celebrations at Red Fort
Forest department officials said similar requests to catch monkeys ahead of Independence Day celebrations had come earlier on a few occasions, this was the first time the police were worried about snakes and lizards.delhi Updated: Aug 14, 2017 21:16 IST
Terrorism and sabotage are not the only threats that would keep Delhi Police on their toes during Independence Day celebrations at Red Fort on Tuesday.
Poisonous snakes and monitor lizards in the Mughal-era fort are also a concern for security agencies. And police are not taking any chances as Prime Minister Narendra Modi will deliver his speech and VIPs will gather there.
For the first time, police have sought the forest department’s help to catch these slithery reptiles if they surface.
“We have been conducting checks and reconnaissance over the past few days. During our recce, we spotted some snakes and monitor lizards. We have sent a request to the wildlife officials to send in trained personnel so that these animals could be captured,” said a senior police officer.
Not only could snakes bite unwary visitors, a mere sight of these animals could trigger panic. Snakes and other animals have earlier been trapped by forest officials and NGOs from various parts of the city including Parliament House, the prime minister’s residence, airport and Delhi assembly among others
Forest department officials said similar requests to catch monkeys ahead of Independence Day celebrations had come earlier on a few occasions, this was the first time the police were worried about snakes and lizards.
“This is the first time that we have received a request from the police. Our men would be there along with a few trained NGO personnel,” said a forest official.
The forest department, which has just two wildlife inspectors left, has in turn got in touch with Wildlife SOS, an NGO dealing with wildlife rescue and rehab.
“We would be honoured to assist the government and police and be a part of the Independence Day security arrangements,” said Wasim Akram manager of Wildlife SOS (special projects).
The NGO would be sending a team of three to four trained personnel equipped with snake catching sticks and containers who would be scanning the area.
Experts in the Wildlife SOS said that if any reptiles or other animals are captured in and around the Red Fort, they would be temporarily shifted to ensure public safety. Once the celebrations are over, the animals would be restored back to their original habitats.