New Delhi: Security arrangements at the Indira Gandhi International Airport and several other parts of the city have been stepped up following somewhat specific intelligence inputs of a possible terror strike on Independence Day.
Security agencies have reportedly received an alert that there could be an attempt to hijack a small aircraft, or a helicopter, on August 15. The operatives tasked to execute the hit are reportedly in possession of various kinds of dresses, passes and weapons to override the security arrangements.
According to the inputs, one Muzaffar Shah from Kashmir has already entered Delhi to carry out the strike. He is said to be part of a group that has been frequenting Nizamuddin and Jama Masjid areas for the past few days. Shah is reportedly a part of local terror units active in Kashmir and resides near Lal Chowk in Srinagar, the alert states. Following the intelligence communique, all security agencies have been put on high alert in the capital. On Monday, security personnel conducted extensive checks inside and outside the airport. The ground staff was verified and their identities checked. The stringent checks would stay in place till August 16, sources said.
The special cell deployed teams to carrying out covert patrols in Jama Masjid, Nizamuddin and nearby areas through the day. Identity cards of people were being randomly checked. Police personnel were busy verifying documents and photographing residents near Red Fort the entire day. Spotters and snipers were placed on rooftops of buildings at strategic locations. On-foot patrolling in crowded markets and near vital installations was stepped up too.
Even before receiving the alert, police had put in place a seven-layer cover with more than 25,000 men deployed at various positions. More than 600 CCTVs have been installed, along with 20 IP cameras and 112 normal cameras. As many as 50 cameras have been installed inside Red Fort itself.
Sources said a special team of National Security Guard snipers and commandos would take care of the inner layer of security cordon. Anti-aircraft guns would be deployed and a no-fly zone would be put in place over Red Fort on Tuesday. Security has also been heightened around Rajghat where the Prime Minister will lay a wreath.
A centralised control room has been activated and quick reaction teams, bomb squads and dog squads are being deployed at sensitive points. The police will use five drones in central Delhi and helicopters will patrol the entire route.
A senior police officer said 500 CCTV cameras have been placed along the PM’s route. Meanwhile, three alleged members of different factions of Manipur-based terrorist outfit, Kangleipak Communist Party, including its commander-in-chief were arrested in the city on Monday.