New Delhi: There was a terror threat in Delhi ahead of the International Yoga Day, which saw the presence of a number of VIPs and Central ministers in the national capital. Sources said the Delhi Police had been asked to tighten security in view of the recent incidents in London and Nice in France, where self-radicalized individuals had used cars to cause mayhem.
Massive security arrangements were made following the alert. Hundreds of policemen were pressed into service and traffic diversions were made. Barricades were placed on arterial roads and checks were conducted on vehicles, reported news agency Press Trust of India. In Connaught Place where the city’s biggest yoga event was held the police barricaded the entry points with empty buses, leaving a small space for pedestrians to pass through. A three-tier security was thrown around the area and snipers were stationed on buildings to keep vigil.
Despite the steady overnight rain, thousands of people had gathered in various parts of Delhi to celebrate the 3rd International Yoga Day. In Connaught Place, yoga sessions were conducted not just at the Central Park and the Inner Circle, but parts of the seven arterial roads.
The event was attended by a number of VIPs – Union ministers Venkaiah Naidu and Vijay Goel, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and the BJP’s presidential nominee, Ram Nath Kovind. Similar yoga events at the city’s Lodhi Garden, Nehru Park, Talkatora Garden and India Gate were also well-attended.
But while most of the policemen were out on the road, a small team had attended the Yoga event at the Ramlila Ground in the Old City, led by Delhi police commissioner Amulya Patnaik.
Over the last six months, several cities in Europe had been targeted by individuals who had used cars to mow down people. The last such incident was reported on June 3, when three men ploughed into pedestrians on London Bridge, killing seven people. It was the third attack in three months in the UK. Most of them were not connected to terror groups, but had got indoctrinated by radical speeches and literature available online. Two days ago, a Briton had used similar tactics at London’s Finsbury Park on a group of Muslims, who were praying during Ramzan.