The rain that brought delight to hundreds of children participating in the Independence Day celebrations at the historic Red Fort on Monday posed problems to the security personnel forming part of the multi-layer cordon in the Walled City of Delhi.
The six-tier security arrangement comprising over 25,000 personnel covered a 3-km radius around the venue where Prime Minister Manmohan Singh unfurled the national Tricolour. Barricades were erected on all the roads leading up to the Walled City, with policemen verifying identity of the visitors and checking the access passes issued to them.
Policemen were also deployed on both sides of Darya Ganj leading up to Red Fort. All the arterial roads were barricaded to prevent any disruption to VIP movements. Temporary watch-towers manned by armed guards were erected to keep a close watch on any suspicious movement. While snipers were deployed on rooftops of buildings facing Red Fort, quick reaction teams were also kept on stand-by.
“We have been on duty since 2 a.m. It has been raining incessantly, which has created some problems. But we have all been provided raincoats. Security procedures are being followed strictly,” said a policeman posted near one of the entry-points to the venue.
Vehicles bearing security-clearance labels, which were parked at allocated places, were checked by anti-sabotage teams. Door-frame and hand-held metal detectors were used to screen visitors, who were also frisked before being allowed in. However, they were allowed to carry mobile phones. Scanners had been installed to check the gadgets brought for media coverage of the celebrations.
Special Weapons and Tactics teams, Special Branch personnel in plainclothes and National Security Guard commandos were deployed at strategic locations as part of the inner cordon. During the event, the airspace over Red Fort was declared a no-fly zone and anti-aircraft guns were installed.