Amid heightened threat perception in the wake of the recent serial blasts in Bangalore and Ahmedabad, an impregnable ground-to-air security apparatus will be put in place in New Delhi for the Independence Day function on Friday when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will address the nation.
The entire Delhi Police force of about 60,000 personnel and nearly 10,000 personnel of paramilitary forces will be deployed on the ground while two helicopters will keep surveillance from the skies when the Prime Minister unfurls the tricolour from the ramparts of Red Fort.
About 17,000 security personnel, including 3,000 paramilitary men, will be deployed in and around the Red Fort during the function which will be attended by the country's top political leadership, including union ministers, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Leader of Opposition LK Advani besides the heads of defence services and diplomats.
A no-fly zone will be enforced and movement of trains near the Red Fort will be suspended during the function.
"We have some intelligence inputs about extremist groups planning to target prominent leaders and symbols of national importance. We have taken adequate precautions," Joint Commissioner of Police SN Srivastava told reporters here while briefing on the arrangements. He, however, did not elaborate.
Police sources said the threat perception for this year's celebrations is higher as terrorists recently carried out back-to-back serial blasts in Ahmedabad and Bangalore.
Delhi Police apprehend that the terrorists could be looking for an opportunity to carry out a strike in the capital on the day.