Specific inputs on I-Day attacks in Delhi: Police

Unprecedented ground-to-air security apparatus has been put in place for the annual Independence Day celebration.

india Updated: Aug 12, 2006 19:57 IST

A day after US warned of attacks by Al-Qaeda in India, Delhi Police on Saturday said it has "specific intelligence inputs" that terror groups would try to carry out deadly strikes to subvert Independence Day celebrations here and has beefed up security measures.

In view of the "considerable escalation in threat perception", an unprecedented ground-to-air security apparatus has been put in place for the annual national event here to be attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the entire top political and military leadership of the country.

"We are already aware of that...Intelligence agencies have already indicated," Special Commissioner (Security) Ajay Chadha said when asked to comment on warnings given by the US about attacks by foreign militants here and in Mumbai.

Police have received a number of general inputs and "a few specific ones" about possible strikes here and the Mumbai blasts and unearthing of a terror plot in London to blow up passenger aircraft have given credence to the intelligence reports, he added.

The inputs include terrorist plans to "target prominent political leaders and symbols of national importance," he added.

Keeping in mind the volatile situation, elaborate security arrangements have been made for the Independence Day celebrations and Janmashtmi festival and over 10,000 police personnel and commandoes of the ITBP and NSG have been deployed in the capital, he added.

A multi-tier security apparatus has been thrown in and around the historic Red Fort, from whose ramparts the Prime Minister will address the nation, with special emphasis given on anti-sabotage and anti-explosive checks and tight access control measures.

Aerial surveillance by policemen in military helicopters, deployment of Air Defence Guns and positioning of Quick Reaction Teams (QRTs) of commandoes on roof tops in the vicinity of Red Fort are among the measures taken for ensuring trouble-free function.

The capital will be made a 'no-fly zone' during the function, expected to last for nearly 45 minutes, and trains passing near the venue will not be allowed since early morning till the function concludes.

A select group of over 500 Delhi policemen and commandos from the paramilitary forces will exclusively guard the Prime Minister, providing him the second ring of protection, while he unfurls the national flag and addresses the nation.

Delhi Police has mobilised its entire strength for the Independence Day function with specialised units like Special Cell and Crime Branch maintaining full security alert and vigil to prevent any possible terror strikes.

Besides Red Fort, security has been tightened at all sensitive areas in Lutyens Delhi, vital places like airport, Parliament and crowded places like railway stations, bus terminals, metro stations, markets and cinema houses.

Special arrangements have also been made at temples and places of religious functions for Janmashtami festival in coordination with various security agencies.

Metro stations will remain under tight vigil in view of the rail network emerging as a prime target for terrorists.

Apart from Delhi Police personnel, commandoes of the ITBP and NSG would be deployed in strategic locations while there will be a special mobilisation of PCR vans and motor-cycle squads for strengtheningsecurity vigil around Red Fort and other sensitive places.

The Special Cell and local police are also maintaining a close over taxi stands, bus terminals, guest houses and other possible areas where terrorists could take shelter.

Delhi Police was also in touch with their counterparts in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan and has tightened checking at all border points to prevent terrorists from sneaking into the capital.

First Published: Aug 12, 2006 15:02 IST