New Delhi: Delhi Police on Sunday stepped up vigil around the Rashtrapati Bhavan and the adjoining areas after a high security alert was sounded following a tip-off about a “suspicious bag” outside the complex.
According to ANI, an anonymous caller has alerted the Delhi Police about a suspicious bag lying outside the Gate No I of Rashtrapati Bhavan. So far, nothing has been found, but an extensive search operation is underway. The authorities have deployed a bomb squad and five fire tenders at the spot and an extensive search operation is currently underway at the site.
The security forces were already put on high alert in the capital on the eve of Independence Day, with some 45,000 personnel deployed across the city. Besides securing the Red Fort and its environs, security has also been stepped up across the capital, in particular shopping areas, malls and places where people gather in large numbers.
A ground-to-air security apparatus is in place around the 17th century Red Fort from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation for a third time, officials said. Police barriers have come up on scores of roads in Delhi to check vehicles and motorists. Residential areas facing the Red Fort have also been sanitized. Both in Delhi and neighbouring areas, police have checked hotels and guest houses.
The Mughal monument and areas within a five-kilometre radius is being covered by about 9,000 security personnel from Delhi Police, paramilitary forces and the National Security Guard (NSG). On Monday, scores of VVIPs will attend the Red Fort event. They will include senior political figures, diplomats and military personnel besides thousands of civilians including school students.
Besides ground personnel, an air defence mechanism has been put in place in and around the venue. The main event during India’s 70th Independence Day celebration on Monday will be held at the Red Fort. Over 500 CCTVs have been installed in and around Red Fort. High-resolution cameras have been mounted on the sprawling monument.