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27,000 police personnel deployed amid threat of ‘France-type attack’

Police said they have received threats online and from other sources about possibility of terror attacks.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: January 26, 2022 9:16:53 am
delhi, republic day parade, delhi news today, delhi latest newsSecurity personnel seen at Red Fort, as part of security arrangements for the Republic Day parade, in New Delhi. (Express Photo by Praveen Khanna)

Ahead of the Republic Day celebrations at Rajpath, Delhi Police said they have made multi-layer security arrangements, installed facial recognition software and deployed 27,000 police personnel to prevent any terror-related incident in the city.

Police said they have received threats online and from other sources about possibility of terror attacks. Senior police officials said they have received inputs that Islamic State (IS) operatives could plan to target roads or railway networks in the capital. As per the intel, the attack will be similar to a “France-type attack”, where 86 people died after a truck was driven into crowds celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, France in 2016, officials said.

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The Delhi Police also put up posters of suspected terrorists with Al-Qaeda links, near Janpath and Connaught Place this week. The facial recognition software and more than 500 CCTV cameras have been installed at 30 locations in Delhi. Sources said the software has a database of 50,000 suspected terrorists and criminals.

Officials said they have made significant arrests this year to stop terror attacks in the city. However, after an improvised explosive device (IED) was discovered at the Ghazipur flower market on January 14, police are on high alert. Police said the IED, concealed in a bag, was timed to “set off” at 11.40 am. The police and National Security Guard (NSG) teams discovered the IED before that and carried out a controlled explosion.

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According to officials, last month, security agencies received inputs that the IS is planning to carry out an IED blast near Red Fort around Republic Day. “We have been told the person who will perform the said attack is already in possession of an explosive-laden car. IS has asked terrorists to use locally available material or IEDs to make bombs. We received intel that plastic lunchbox shaped IEDs are being made to carry out suicide bombings or lone attacks,” said an official.

Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana said 27,723 police personnel, including 71 DCPs, will be manning Rajpath all day to prevent any incident. The force will be assisted by 65 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs). “We have been working on this for two months now. We have intensified our anti-terror measures. It is also because Delhi has been a target for terrorists or anti-social elements.,” said Asthana.

Counter-drone technology will be used by police to keep a check on security from air-space. Special teams are being deployed to check CCTVs and monitor social media for threats and posts every day, officials said. Amid rising Covid cases, a Delhi Police spokesperson said all guests at the Republic Day parade will have to produce their vaccination certificates at the entry points. “We have received guidelines stating that those who are unvaccinated and children below age 15 won’t be allowed at the parade..,” said the officer.

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