Nation celebrates Republic Day amidst tight security
The country is celebrating the Republic Day today. Country displays its military might with marching contingents of Army, paramilitary and other forces.
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is the chief guest at the function to mark the day.
As part of the celebrations, the Service Chiefs arrived at Amar Jawan Jyoti to pay tributes at 9:30 am followed by Defence Minister AK Anthony and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Then the Prime Minister, Defence Minister and Service Chiefs proceeded to Vijay Chowk where guests were welcomed.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) were scanning through the capital while snipers were deployed on rooftops as the security establishment fine-tuned its mechanism to ensure that the function goes without any untoward incident.
Around 35,000 police personnel, including 15,000 from paramilitary forces and elite National Security Guards (NSG) were already deployed across the city in the run-up to the celebrations.
A senior security official said UAVs of the Air Force are being deployed for surveillance besides the usual deployment of helicopters. "The UAVs will not only keep an eye on the parade route but entire Delhi," the official said.
Ensuring air security and for the flypast, the airspace over the capital is closed for an hour from 11.15 AM to 12.15 PM.
Mobile hit teams, anti-aircraft guns and sharpshooters of the NSG are also on the job at various places while paramilitary and Delhi Police commandos were keeping a close watch along the route of the eight-kilometre long Republic Day parade from Raisana Hills to Red Fort.
Snipers are on top of the high-rise buildings while around 100 CCTVs were keep a tight vigil on people's movement between Rajpath and Red Fort, the route of the parade which showcases India's military might and cultural diversity.
A multi-layer security ring has already been put in place at Rajpath, where President Pratibha Patil will unfurl the tricolour and take the salute of marching contingents.
"There is a special emphasis on anti-sabotage checks, access control measures and intelligence coordination. The entire route of the parade will be covered by special security and anti-terror arrangements.
"Elaborate air defence measures, including deployment of anti-aircraft guns, have also been taken to check intrusion of air space," a senior police official said.
Besides the air defence measures, helicopters of the Indian Air Force will hover around Rajpath and all along the route of the parade.
Patrolling in crowded market areas has been intensified and checking and frisking in Metro, railway stations and bus terminals tightened. Security at the IGI airport was also strengthened in coordination with the CISF.
Checking and frisking have also been intensified at all entry points with police setting up barricades to keep a vigil on all those entering the capital.
No vehicles was allowed to ply on the Rajpath from 6 pm on January 25 while vehicular movement was affected on Tilak Marg, Bahadurshah Zafar Marg, Netaji Subhash Marg upto Red Fort from 4 am on Jan 26.