10,000 cops, facial recognition cameras part of I-Day security at Red Fort

As the national capital gears up to celebrate the 77th Independence Day on Tuesday, robust arrangements have been made as a large gathering is expected at the event, which has no COVID-19 restrictions after a span of two years.
10,000 cops, facial recognition cameras part of I-Day security at Red Fort

New Delhi | A 1,000 facial recognition cameras, anti-drone systems, and over 10,000 police personnel keeping vigil are part of the security measures in place at the Mughal-era Red Fort here, from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation on August 15.

As the national capital gears up to celebrate the 77th Independence Day on Tuesday, robust arrangements have been made as a large gathering is expected at the event, which has no COVID-19 restrictions after a span of two years.

Police said that keeping in mind the recent violence in Haryana's Nuh and adjoining areas, a strict vigil is being ensured.

Sharing details of the security arrangements, Special Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Dependra Pathak said, "Independence Day will be celebrated with full enthusiasm this year with no COVID-19 restrictions in place. Therefore, a robust and adequate deployment of police will be ensured."

"We will also coordinate and share real-time information with other agencies to provide security. The Delhi Police will also use technology systems for security purposes. We are on our toes and doing rehearsals," Pathak said.

The Gyan Path in front of the Red Fort in central Delhi will be decked up with flowers and G20 signage for the national festival celebrations. However, there will be no major decorations on the rampart of the fort from where the prime minister addresses the nation.

The government has invited around 1,800 special guests, including beneficiaries of the PM-KISAN scheme, from across the country to attend the Independence Day ceremony here.

"This year, more than 20,000 officials and civilians will take part in the Independence Day celebrations. Gyan Path is being decorated with flowers and G20 signage for the national festival," a police officer said.

Around 1,000 cameras with facial recognition and video analytic systems have been installed in and around the Mughal-era fort and at other strategic locations to ensure foolproof security and monitor VVIP movements, the police said.

Anti-drone systems have been installed at the Red Fort as is convention. All anti-terror measures have been initiated, including the installation of air defence guns. Snipers, elite SWAT commandos and sharpshooters will be positioned at strategic locations for the security of the prime minister and other VVIP guests.

Forces continue to remain on high alert to thwart any untoward incident as police have intensified patrolling and deployed extra pickets at vital installations based on intelligence inputs received from central agencies, a senior police officer said.

Thorough checking is being carried out at the borders and police have warned of strict action against anyone trying to disrupt the law and order situation in the national capital.

The areas surrounding the Red Fort have been demarcated as a "no kite flying zone" till the completion of the programme.

A total of 153 kite catchers will be deployed with the necessary equipment at strategic locations to intercept kites, the police said, adding that the residents of areas near the Red Fort have been asked not to fly kites till the event is over.

During Prime Minister Narendra Modi''s Independence Day address in 2017, a kite had landed just below the podium. The prime minister had, however, continued with his speech unfazed.

"The Delhi Police has also intensified patrolling and anti-sabotage checks. Hotels, guest houses, parking lots and restaurants are being checked and verification of tenants and servants is being carried out. Meetings are also being held with RWA (resident welfare associations) and MWA (market welfare associations) members," Deputy Commissioner of Police (North) Sagar Singh Kalsi said.

Police had on Thursday imposed prohibitory orders under CrPC Section 144 in areas such as Rajghat, ITO and Red Fort ahead of Independence Day.

"In view of Independence Day celebrations, Section 144 of CrPC (Code of Criminal Procedure) has been invoked in areas nearby Rajghat, ITO, Red Fort etc. No gathering of any kind is permitted in these areas," police posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

In 2021, the Delhi Police had erected a huge wall of shipping containers decorated with graffiti at the main gate of Red Fort for security reasons. There will be no such wall this year.

The flying of sub-conventional aerial platforms like para-gliders, para-motors, hang gliders, UAVs, microlight aircraft, remotely piloted aircraft, hot air balloons, small-size powered aircraft, quadcopters or para-jumping from aircraft etc. are prohibited over the jurisdiction of National Capital Territory of Delhi up to August 16, the police said.

1,800 people invited as 'special guests', 75 couples in traditional attire to attend I-Day event at Red Fort

New Delhi | Around 1,800 'special guests' from different walks of life, including several workers employed in the construction of the new Parliament building, have been invited to attend the 77th Independence Day celebrations at Red Fort on August 15.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lead the nation in marking the occasion.

Besides, 75 couples from each state and Union Territory, in their traditional attire, have been invited to witness the ceremony, the defence ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

As part of the celebrations, selfie points dedicated to different government schemes and initiatives have been installed at 12 locations, including the National War Memorial, India Gate and Vijay Chowk, it said.

Around 1,800 people from different vocations, with their spouses, have been invited as special guests from across the country to be a part of the celebrations at the Red Fort.

A larger number of guests have been invited compared to last year. The invitation to the about 1,800 special guests has been extended in line with the government's vision of 'Jan Bhagidari', the ministry said.

These special guests include over 400 sarpanches of more than 660 vibrant villages; 250 from the farmer-producer organisations scheme; 50

participants each of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Scheme and the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana; 50 'shram yogis (construction workers)' of the Central Vista project, including the new Parliament building; 50 khadi workers, those involved in construction of border roads, making of Amrit Sarovars and Har Ghar Jal Yojana each, as well as 50 primary school teachers, nurses and fisherfolk each.

Some of these special guests are scheduled to visit the National War Memorial and call on Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt as part of their stay in Delhi, the statement said.

This year's Independence Day will also see the culmination of the 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav', launched from the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad by Modi on March 12, 2021, and will, once again, usher the country into 'Amrit Kaal' with renewed vigour to realise the dream of making India a developed country by 2047, it said.

Modi will unfurl the national flag and deliver the customary address to the nation from the ramparts of the historic monument.

Selfie points dedicated to different schemes and initiatives of the government have also been installed at New Delhi railway station, Pragati Maidan, Raj Ghat, the metro stations at Jama Masjid, Rajiv Chowk, Delhi Gate and the ITO metro gate, Naubat Khana and Sheesh Ganj Gurudwara, the ministry added.

The defence ministry will also conduct an online selfie contest on the MyGov portal from August 15-20. All official invites have been sent online through the Aamantran portal and 17,000 e-invitation cards have been issued through it, the statement said.

Upon his arrival at the Red Fort on August 15, Modi will be received by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Bhatt and Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane, the ministry said.

The defence secretary will introduce the General Officer Commanding (GOC), Delhi Area, Lt Gen Dhiraj Seth, to the prime minister, it said.

Lt Gen Seth will then conduct the prime minister to the saluting base, where a combined Inter-Services and Delhi Police Guard will present a general salute to the prime minister.

The prime minister will then inspect the guard of honour, the ministry said.

The guard of honour contingent will consist of one officer and 25 personnel each from the Army, Air Force and the Delhi Police and one officer and 24 personnel from the Navy.

The Army is the coordinating service this year. The guard of honour will be commanded by Maj Vikas Sangwan, it said.

After inspecting the guard of honour, Modi will proceed to the ramparts of Red Fort, where he will be greeted by the defence minister, his deputy, Chief of Defence Staff Gen Anil Chauhan, Army Chief Manoj Pande, Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar and Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari.

Lt Gen Seth will then conduct the prime minister to the dais on the ramparts to unfurl the national flag, the statement said.

"After being unfurled, the Tricolour will receive a 'Rashtriya Salute'. The Army band, consisting of one JCO (junior commissioned officer) and 20 other ranks, will play the national anthem during the unfurling of the national flag and presenting of the Rashtriya Salute. The band will be conducted by Naib Subedar Jatinder Singh," it said.

The unfurling of the national flag will be synchronised with the 21-gun salute by gunners of the elite 8,711 Field Battery (Ceremonial), the statement said.

The National Flag Guard, comprising five officers and 128 other ranks from the Army, Navy, Air Force and the Delhi Police, will present the Rashtriya Salute at the time of unfurling of the national flag by the prime minister, it added.

As soon as the Tricolour is unfurled, flower petals will be showered at the venue by two Advanced Light Helicopters Mark-III Dhruv of the Indian Air Force in the Line Astern formation.

Thereafter, the prime minister will address the nation.

At the conclusion of Modi's speech, National Cadet Corps cadets will sing the national anthem and 1,100 boy and girl cadets (Army, Navy and Air Force) from different schools across the country will take part during this festival, the statement said.

Bleachers have been installed at the Gyan Path, on which the cadets will be seated in their official white dress, it added.

Another highlight of the programme will be the G20 logo, which will be part of the floral decorations at the Red Fort, the ministry said.

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