JLN turns into fortress for CWG opening ceremony
An almost impregnable security blanket of about 7,500 security personnel, including commandos and helicopters, have been thrown over the grand Jawaharlal Nehru stadium, where the opening ceremony of the 19th Commonwealth Games being held today.delhi Updated: Oct 03, 2010 19:17 IST
An almost impregnable security blanket of about 7,500 security personnel, including commandos and helicopters, have been thrown over the grand Jawaharlal Nehru stadium, where the opening ceremony of the 19th Commonwealth Games being held today.
As one enters the stadium, the only thing visible are the gun-toting security personnel including many in battle fatigues standing besides banners with Games motto 'Come out and Play' written on them.
Numerous check points have been set up along the route with vehicles being strictly kept off from the vicinity of the stadium with 60,000 spectators including Prince Charles, President Pratibha Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and foreign diplomats among other VIPs.
Every residential building around the stadium has a sniper atop it keeping an eye out for any possible trouble.
Though security agency sources say that there is no specific security threat to the Games, nobody wants to take any chance.
Union Home Minister P Chidambaram also visited the stadium to take stock of the situation.
Asked if he was satisfied with the security arrangements, a smiling Chidambaram told PTI, "Ask me on October 14 and I will tell you."
Army has also been kept on standby. While Delhi Police and CRPF personnel are present at very nook and corner inside the stadium campus, NSG commandos have also been pressed into action.
As a further step to thwart any possible aerial attack, the Delhi airspace would also be restricted during the period of the opening ceremony.
Indian Army helicopters with commandos in them were seen doing an aerial recce at regular intervals.
The helicopters will receive additional support from the three Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) which will also be pressed into service to carry out surveillance and keep vigil.
Moreover, sources said about 150 personnel of the Delhi Police's Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) have been trained by the Indian Air Force and the NSG to shoot down suspicious manned or unmanned "flying objects".
Specially trained canines held firmly by their handlers can be seen roaming around sniffing for anything suspicious.
First Published: Oct 03, 2010 19:15 IST