Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the main venue for Commonwealth Games, was turned into a virtual fortress for the opening ceremony today as hundreds of armed men guarded the structure while spectators underwent checks at four security points.
Around 7,500 security personnel were deployed in and around the stadium, which has a capacity of 60,000 seats, while IAF choppers surveyed the skies and snipers at rooftops kept a hawk-eye vigil.
Delhi Police Commissioner Y S Dadwal was present at the stadium to supervise the security arrangements ahead of the opening ceremony. He had earlier said that all adequate arrangements have been made for the event.
A four-layer security cordon was thrown around the stadium which has 19 entry points where card readers, Door Frame Metal Detectors and X-Ray baggage machines have been installed.
Mobile Quick Reaction teams were deployed on the outer perimeter of the venues while a close watch was being kept through CCTV surveillance. At the outer cordon of the stadium, traffic was stopped and access controlled.
At the middle cordon, security-men channelised the spectators to their designated seats while in the inner cordon, the barcode reading of tickets took place and the spectators' photos captured.
At the centre was the exclusion zone which is in the 30 metre radius of the stadium, where spectators and guests underwent a check through Door-Frame Metal Detectors and X-Ray scanning besides manual searching.
Only those with valid parking stickers were allowed near the stadium while the three park and ride facilities near the stadium were at its seam within minutes leaving many to look for alternative sites.
At some occasions, the card readers did not function properly due to some technical glitches. The Home Ministry in its guidelines had said that the flap barrier to control pedestrian movement and RF reader to read cards and tickets may fail sometimes, for a few minutes, owing to glitches.
A long queue was also witnessed outside the stadium.