With just five days to go for the Commonwealth Games, helicopters hovered over the Games Village in New Delhi on Monday as security was tightened on the Delhi roads and a fresh security alert was issued to states against terror strikes.
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have been placed on alert against airborne intrusions, a security official said.
About 80,000 Delhi policemen and 20,000 paramilitary forces personnel have been deployed for Games security in Delhi.
“All security measures are in place and roads leading to the Games venues and the Village have been barricaded,” said a senior police official. Commandos of the National Security Guard (NSG) have been also deployed at the 11 competition venues and the village, he added.
Helicopters were seen hovering over the sprawling Games village at regular intervals, noted Harish Pandey, a resident of the nearby Pandav Nagar locality.
A fresh alert has been issued to states cautioning them against terror attacks in the run-up to the Oct 3-14 Games, said an official. The new alert has been issued on the basis of inputs received by major intelligence agencies, he added.
"This is a logical terrorist strategy. When the entire security establishment will be concentrating on the village and the venues, they may try to strike somewhere else or in some other city," he said. "Basically, their attempt will be to create fear about India and to tarnish the country's image."
The Metro rail system, bus stations, markets, hotels and places frequented by foreigners have been identified as likely targets in the security alert communication.
Adding to security tensions ahead of the Commonwealth Games is the upcoming high court ruling on the Babri Masjid/Ramjanmabhoomi issue.
"Tuesday will be a crucial day. With the Supreme Court to hear Tuesday petitions urging the deferment of the Ayodhya dispute verdict, the police across the country have to be on their toes," the official said.
About 7,000 athletes and officials from 71 countries and territories will participate in the 11-day Games, the biggest sports event hosted by India since the 1982 Asian Games.