Security stepped up at French embassy, diplomatic enclave

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Nov 15, 2015 10:07 IST
A man holds a candle and a drawing depicting the French flag and carrying the words "I am Parisian" in front of the French embassy after attacks in Paris on Friday, in Warsaw, Poland November 14, 2015. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel (REUTERS)

Security across the city was stepped up on Saturday, hours after the capital woke up to reports of a terror attacks in Paris that had left at least 127 people dead.

The Paris attack, which took place at multiple locations, triggered fears of a possibility of similar attacks in Delhi after which the city was placed on high alert. Police stations across the city were asked to remain on their toes.

Security was increased outside the Embassy of France in Chanakyapuri. Earlier this year, police had stationed Quick Reaction Team (QRT) vehicles outside the embassy after the shooting incident at the Charlie Hebdo weekly magazine. “More QRTs have been added and we have men posted there to deal with any situation. Our Special Weapons and Tactics Team has also been asked to remain on standby and can respond within minutes in case of any untoward incidents. Moreover all vehicles passing by the embassy area in Chanakyapuri are being stopped for checking,” said a police officer.

DCP Rajan Bhagat, spokesperson of Delhi Police, said that there was no cause to panic. “We have asked our men to be vigilant and patrol all areas. We urge the public to be our eyes and ears and inform the police control room immediately if they come to know of anything suspicious.”

At several police stations in south, central and New Delhi district area, police officers held meetings with shopkeepers and vendors and urged them to remain alert.

At the airport, an additional layer of security was added that passengers had to go through before they could enter. “The passengers are first checked at the entry gate, then at the security point and then they have to go through Secondary Ladder Point Checking (SLPC) too just before boarding the plane,” said an official.

SLPC is put in place when the threat is at its highest level and passengers are made to undergo complete frisking just before entering the aircraft. Presently only a few airlines, especially those going to the US, subject its passengers to SLPC.

According to sources in the Bureau for Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), the CISF has been asked to put more men in their anti-hijacking team. The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has formed a ‘sweeping-squad’ and those who are trained in profiling are part of it. “Their job is to identify suspicious passenger as soon as they enter the airport. The members of this squad have been placed across the airport,” a BCAS official said.

Meanwhile, the anti-terror unit has also been asked to probe and stop any possible terror activity across the city. A few months ago, the special cell had registered a case against unknown members of the terror group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, who are now suspected to be behind the attack in France.

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