With 5,000 officers, snipers, security steps up for PM Modi’s Delhi mega rally

Updated on Dec 22, 2019 10:25 AM IST

Delhi Police spokesperson Mandeep Singh Randhawa said a three-layer security cover comprising officers from the Special Protection Group (SPG) and Delhi Police will be in place at the venue to thwart any untoward incidents.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByKarn Pratap Singh

A ground-to-air security cordon is being put in place at Ramlila Maidan in central Delhi, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Sunday kick off the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) campaign for the upcoming Delhi assembly elections by addressing a rally.

Areas around the Ramlila Maidan have been declared no-fly zones by central security agencies, keeping in mind intelligence inputs that some people may attempt to disrupt the Prime Minister’s rally.

Nearly 5,000 security and traffic personnel will form the security cover in and around the Ramlila ground. The National Security Guard’s (NSG) anti-aircraft and anti-drone squads are being positioned to tackle any air strikes, the Delhi Police said.

Delhi Police spokesperson Mandeep Singh Randhawa said a three-layer security cover comprising officers from the Special Protection Group (SPG) and Delhi Police will be in place at the venue to thwart any untoward incidents.

While SPG commandos will form the inner layer of the security cover, personnel from the Delhi Police’s security wing will take charge of middle-layer security. The outer-layer security cordon will be managed by local police, Randhawa added.

Randhawa said prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) had not been imposed in central Delhi or around Ramlila Ground before or after Friday’s protest at Delhi Gate in Daryaganj against the Citizen Amendment Act.

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He added that Section 144 was imposed only in areas around Red Fort under Kotwali sub-division, owing to Wednesday’s protest march from Red Fort to Shahidi Park near ITO.

“Twenty deputy commissioners of police (DCPs) are being deployed to take charge of the security arrangements at both the venues. Around 2,000 personnel of central armed forces such as Rapid Action Force and Central Reserve Protection Force (CRPF) will be deployed at the venue. This is in addition to security and traffic personnel of Delhi Police and commandos of central security agencies,” Randhawa said.

A Delhi Police security wing officer, who asked not to be named, said every person attending the rally will have to produce valid identity cards to be allowed into the venue.

“They will have to undergo thorough searches and frisking before being given entry. Door frame metal detectors are being placed at each entry gate. A special entry gate and emergency exit gate have been created for senior dignitaries and VVIPs,” the officer said.

According to Randhawa, all buildings around Ramlila Maidan and Raj Ghat have been sanitised and shops in the area will remain shut till the rally is over.

While police personnel will be present outside buildings and shops, trained snipers will be stationed on each rooftop to keep a watch on troublemakers, the spokesperson said.

Randhawa also said that traffic police personnel will be deployed on all routes leading to Ramlila Maidan to ensure smooth flow of vehicular traffic and reduce inconvenience to commuters, especially those coming or going towards New Delhi and Old Delhi railway stations.

“There will be diversions on some of the routes. But traffic police personnel will be present to guide motorists for using alternate roads,” said a traffic police officer.

Also read: Two questions about the citizenship act | Opinion

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