Intense security arrangements and traffic diversions put in place by the Delhi Police caused massive inconvenience to Delhites on Sunday morning.
Even families with valid invites en route the Red Fort to witness the Independence Day Celebrations complained of harassment and prolonged, unnecessary vehicle checking procedures by Delhi Police personnel.
“My family and I ended-up missing the program because not only were we were made to stop at each and every barricaded checkpoint in place on theway from Laxmi Nagar to Red Fort but also at random locations where a police officer happened to be standing,” said Rajiv Gupta (46), a property dealer who resides in Laxmi Nagar.
Kamini Rastogi (29) who is pursuing law from Delhi University said no proper system of verifying the credentials of invitees was in place and most officers seemed interested only in harassing commuters.
“At one particular checkpoint less than half a kilometre from the Red Fort, the officer on duty refused to let me pass even after I showed him the same documents that I had produced before half a dozen officers earlier. At most checkpoints, officers would gesture the driver to move away and behave rudely if one attempted to explain the situation,” she said.
Many felt lack of proper parking facilities at the Red Fort added to commuters’ woes.
“Despite reaching well in time and having a proper parking pass, I was not allowed to park my car in the designated area because it was full. By the time I managed to find a parking space and return to the venue – the Prime Minister’s speech had begun and I wasn’t allowed entry,” said Harshit Bansal (31), a software engineer and resident of Kamla Nagar.
Delhi Police spokesperson ACP Rajan Bhagat said: “The security arrangements this time around have been most effective and we are yet to receive any complaints as far as they are concerned. The Delhi Police officers on duty were given proper and adequate briefs and did their jobs as well as was possible.”