Two snipers are stationed on a 22-feet-high machan. Revolving flash lights illuminate faces in the crowd and five men in uniform patrol on foot with cameras attached to their bodies. This is the scene at Sarojini Nagar Market after the Delhi police put in place elaborate security arrangements for Republic Day.
Besides the routine security provided by the local police and installation of high definition CCTV cameras, the police have a gone a step ahead. This time, they have put five machans across the length and breadth of the market. Each machan has two armed personnel. While one is a sniper, the other is tasked with keeping an eye out for any suspicious movement.
To help them keep a clear watch, revolving flashlights have also been installed. “The flashlights illuminate the crowd and keep revolving to give the snipers a 360 degree view. This not only helps the personnel keeping a watch, but also acts as a deterrent. A person with nefarious designs will know that he is under watch and that he cannot go unnoticed,” a senior police officer said.
Another new feature of this security set up includes a person walking inside the market with a body camera. A team of five police personnel patrols the market. One of these has a special body gear with a camera attached one and half-a-foot above head level. He is flanked by four armed personnel.
“This is to ensure that no corner of the market is left unwatched. The personnel patrol the market at random intervals. They go to the bylanes, corners, the two tunnels in the market and also the main three streets,” a senior police officer said.
While the personnel patrol the area, the body cameras record the patrol. The recording is then transferred to a control room which has been temporarily set up in the market and the footage is reviewed.
“We do not wish to take a chance. Hence, we review the footage for any suspicious activity that the team may have missed. The recording is played and reviewed by the control room in-charge ,” a police officer said. “The foot patrolling also instills confidence in the public. On the other hand, a person planning any illegal activity thinks twice before acting,” a police officer said. The arrangements, that have been made keeping in mind the heavy footfall in the market and the past incidents of terror attacks, will be in place for the next one week. Nearly 90 people were killed in Delhi in serial blasts in 2005 and 2008. Sarojini Nagar was targeted by terrorists on both the occasions.