Security in Delhi beefed up; expect long queues at Metro stations, airport
In order to maintain law and order in the national Capital in the wake of scrapping of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, important installations such as the Delhi airport, the Delhi Metro and important government buildings were put under heavy security cover on Monday. Officers said the cover is likely to remain in force till Independence Day on August 15.
On Monday, Delhi Police commissioner Amulya Patnaik held a “high-level committee” meeting with all special commissioners of police, joint commissioners of police and deputy commissioners of police (DCP).
Delhi Police’s additional public relation officer Anil Mittal said the DCPs were asked to sensitise station house officers (SHOs) from all police stations to carry out intensive security checks and anti-sabotage checks at busy market places, shopping malls, inter-state bus terminals and railway stations.
“Our anti-terror Parakram vans have also been strategically placed across the city, along with the additional deployment,” Mittal added.
Pratham Verma, general secretary of confederation of east Delhi retailers (CADR), said the SHOs sent out messages to market association WhatsApp groups seeking cooperation in security checks.
“All vehicles entering markets are being thoroughly inspected. We are cooperating with the local police at our best and are sharing CCTV footage of the markets with the police in the evening,” Verma said.
Apart from this, the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) had stepped up vigil at Indira Gandhi International airport.
A senior officer, who did not wish to be named, said in the wake of the revoking of Article 370, they have been asked to keep a strict watch on possible suspects who could create nuisance in crowded areas.
“Plain-clothes personnel are deployed inside the airport. Scanning the airport for any possible threats has been increased manifold. Even uniformed personnel are not exempted from security checks. Our dog squads and bomb squad are regularly sweeping the airport,” the officer said.
Deputy commissioner of police (Delhi airport) Sanjay Bhatia said they have erected an additional bullet-proof metal shield at the airport approach road. “Our officers are deployed in the forecourt and even in parking areas. The anti-terror squad has been alerted and is on standby to tackle any untoward situation,” Bhatia said.
From Monday, the CISF started double frisking Metro passengers. The practice is usually seen around Republic Day or Independence Day. “The additional arrangements will now remain in force till August 15,” an officer requesting anonymity said.
Officials of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) said the red alert was put in place from 9am on Monday until further orders by the Delhi Police and security canneries.
In the evening, long queues were witnessed at the security gates of Metro stations, with CISF officials frisking each passenger heavily. Teams of DMRC were also tasked with inspecting each coach at the end stations.
“The red alert was imposed on orders of security agencies. We had issued an alert through our social media handles to send out a message to commuters to keep some time aside for security checks which will only get more stringent,” a senior DMRC official said.