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Air, ground vigil ensure a peaceful I-Day function

August 15, 2003 10:33 IST

Choppers roamed the skies and the Delhi police and paramilitary personnel maintained vigil on the ground as Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Friday unfurled the national tricolour and addressed the nation from the historic Red Fort.

With warnings about a possible terror strike, air traffic and movement of trains in old Delhi area was suspended for a few hours in the morning.

At least 17,000 Delhi police personnel and paramilitary forces and 750 commandos were deputed at and around the venue of the main function in the old city and the route to be taken by the VVIPs.

Police said it had received inputs indicating plans of ISI-backed terrorist outfits like Lashkar-e-Tayiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed to disrupt Independence Day celebrations. The prime minister, the deputy prime minister, a few prominent leaders and sensitive installations were on the target list.

The security forces laid special emphasis on anti-sabotage and anti-explosive checks, access control and vigil on VIP routes.

Various kinds of terror attacks had been anticipated, but attention was mainly on the strong possibility of suicide attacks with terrorists posing as securitymen.

Surveillance had also been mounted on hotels, guest houses and other places and close coordination was maintained with districts of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan neighbouring Delhi against any terrorist attempt to
sneak into the capital.


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