In view of illness and hospitalisation of chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, the government on Monday changed the venue of state-level Republic Day function from Amritsar to Bathinda. Badal was to preside over the function in Amritsar. Since the CM is in hospital, the state-level function was shifted to Bathinda where deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal would hoist the Tricolour.
After getting the orders on Monday, the city was turned into a virtual fortress with deployment of heavy police force.
The police conducted an extensive security check drive at the multipurpose sports stadium, the venue of the function.
The police as well as civil administration officials claimed that there was no pressure on them due to the city hosting the state-level event as deputy chief minister was presiding over the function here in any case.
Bathinda SSP Swapan Sharma said the police were already on a high alert ahead of the Republic Day. Sharma denied having any specific intelligence input related to security threat to Bathinda Air Force Station.
Deputy commissioner Basant Garg said he received a communication about the state-level function on Monday morning. He said everything was in place for the event.