The German Bakery blast in Pune and a red alert — warning of a similar incident in the city was not improbable — has left security personnel scampering to avoid a similar terror attack in Delhi.
Sunday saw an unprecedented turnout of Delhi Police personnel, quick reaction teams and anti-riot vehicles patrolling vulnerable areas in the capital.
With the Hockey World Cup a few weeks away, the city is not taking any chances. Non-functional close circuit television cameras in different areas were repaired in 24 hours flat and security was also beefed up in places frequented by Israeli, German and American tourists.
The Indira Gandhi International Airport and Metro stations also witnessed heightened security. Heavily armed commandoes of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) could be seen at most Metro stations and in high numbers at busy stations such as Kashmere Gate and Rajiv Chowk.
“There is an alert following the Pune blast and additional security measures were also taken due to Valentine’s Day celebrations,” a CISF spokesman said.
Mock drill at stadium
The security agencies conducted a mock drill at the Dhyan Chand stadium on Sunday morning. “It went for over one-hour and is part of routine procedure ahead of the World Cup. There is nothing to be alarmed,” a senior Delhi Police Officer said on the condition of anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
The police have also repaired or replaced CCTV cameras at various markets in an effort to beef up security. ‘Working’ door frame metal detectors have been placed at all entry points in various markets.
President of Karol Bagh Market Association S. Murli Mani said, “There has been an increase in the number of policemen deployed at the market. Even the CCTV cameras that were not working have been repaired.”
He added that hotels in the area have also been told to increase security and report any suspicious person who checks-in at their hotels.
Security was increased in markets like South-extension Part-I and II, Greater Kailash M-Block Market, Gaffar Market and Janpath.
Protection for expats
The police have increased security for foreigners in the city. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central) Jaspal Singh said, “Patrolling has been increased in areas like Paharganj. We have also increased the number of men deployed there. Commandoes have been stationed outside Chabad House in the area. We have also spoken to the hotel owners about different security issues."
As Israeli installations are under terror radar, the police have increased the security in these areas.
Arno, an Israeli national who is training to be a rabbi, said, “Last night commandoes were placed outside our Chabad House. The police later told us they are just taking precautions after the attack on German Bakery near the Chabad House in Pune.”