Red Fort, the 17th century monument from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation on the 70th Independence Day on Monday, and adjoining areas have been put under an unprecedented air-to-ground security cover with hawk-eye vigil being maintained across the entire national capital.
Thousands of security personnel, including 5,000 men from Delhi Police, have been deployed to ensure foolproof security in and around the historic Mughal fort which will see the presence of senior ministers, top bureaucrats, foreign dignitaries and common people.
A multi-layer security has also been thrown around Rajpath where a seven-day-long cultural festival ‘Bharat Parv’ is underway. All the government buildings, including North Block and South Block, are being illuminated after sunset in the run up to August 15.
At Red Fort, a special team of National Security Guard snipers and commandos will form the inner layers of the security cordon while anti-aircraft guns have been deployed to thwart any aerial intrusion by objects like drones and projectiles, senior police officials said.
Delhi Police has already prohibited aerial activities, including para-gliding, flying UAVs and hot air balloons, across the city till October 10.
Also, police are surveying the areas in the vicinity of the Red Fort and have collected details of over 9,000 people residing there. The buildings facing the Red Fort will be secured by police and paramilitary personnel.
Entry and exit to Metro stations near Red Fort will be closed till the prime minister is present at the venue.
Panoramic photography will be used to ensure a close watch on 605 balconies and 104 windows that open towards Red Fort. Security agencies have also marked out over 3,000 trees in the area, said the officials.
Army and NSG officials will run a special communication and command centre to keep a close watch on the proceedings of the day at Red Fort.
Special measures will be taken to meet “on-the-spot situations” such as the prime minister choosing to meet people at the venue as he previously did twice, officials said.
Security along the route to be taken by the prime minister’s cavalcade from 7 RCR to Red Fort will be monitored with the help of hundreds of CCTV cameras.
Besides, 200 CCTVs and two high-mast, high-resolution cameras, managed by three control rooms, will keep under observation the Red Fort premises.
Special spotters of Delhi Police and paramilitary will keep an eye on parking areas. Over 60 sniffer dogs of paramilitary forces and Delhi Police will also be part of the extensive security arrangement.
Preliminary security arrangements were made in July and senior police and intelligence officials have been regularly updating them to weed out any shortcomings and glitches.