Thousands of security personnel, facial recognition systems, drones, and CCTV cameras are a part of Delhi Police’s security arrangements when India is prepared to host Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro for its Republic Day celebrations on Sunday.
The 71st Republic Day parade will commence from Vijay Chowk and proceed towards Red Fort grounds, instead of starting from India Gate. The occasion marks the day when India’s Constitution came into effect in 1950, and the country became a Republic.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay a wreath at the National War Memorial before heading to Rajpath for the R-Day parade, which will begin at 10 am and last for 90 minutes. Earlier this event took place at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at the India Gate, but this year it has been moved to the National War Memorial which was inaugurated in February last year. The PM will be accompanied by the newly appointed Chief of Defence Staff and the three service chiefs.
Officials said sharpshooters and snipers will be deployed on top of high-rise buildings to keep a watch on the 8-km-long parade route from Rajpath to the Red Fort on January 26.
The facial recognition system will also be set up at vantage points for the identification of suspects. Hundreds of close-circuit television (CCTV) cameras have also been installed, including at least 150 in areas covering Red Fort, Chandni Chowk, and Yamuna Khadar, officials added.
“We have a four-layer security arrangement. Inner, middle, outer and one along with the border areas across the national capital. Around 5000 to 6000 Delhi Police personnel have been deployed in New Delhi district along with 50 companies of paramilitary forces,” deputy commissioner of police (New Delhi Zone) Eish Singhal said.
A city-wide alert is also being exercised in connection with the Republic Day. A traffic advisory has also been issued about the police’s elaborate arrangement for route diversions for Republic Day.
“Group patrolling, night patrolling and vehicle checking is being carried out with the help of Central Armed Police Forces. Frisking at Metro stations, railway stations, airport and bus terminals has also been tightened,” a senior police official said.
More than 2000 traffic police personnel have been deployed for a smooth flow of traffic and for the facilitation of spectators and visitors to the venue. Adequate security and traffic arrangements for the At Home function at Rashtrapati Bhawan have also been made.
Hotels and taxi and auto-rickshaw drivers to have been told to remain alert and anti-terror measures like tenant and servant verification are being taken. Security personnel has identified vulnerable spots such as market places, railway stations, bus stands and other such establishments, and efforts are being made to secure them with the deployment of an extra police force.
The traffic from Vijay Chowk to India Gate will be blocked from 6 pm Saturday till the parade concludes on Sunday. The traffic police have advised people to follow different routes across the national capital.
The movement of city bus services including Park street, Paharganj, Pragati Maidan, and more, and inter-state bus services will be curtailed. The Delhi Metro will remain open on Republic Day, however, boarding and deboarding at Kendriya Sachivalaya and Udyog Bhavan will be restricted from 5 am till 12 pm. Similarly, the Race course and Patel Chowk metro stations will not function from 8.45 am to 12 pm on Sunday.
The Delhi metro parking facilities will remain closed at all stations from 6.00 am Saturday till 2 pm on Sunday.