I-day security: Counter-terror mock drills done at Red Fort

New Delhi: Over a dozen mock drills are being conducted by security agencies every day in and around the Red Fort area to thwart possible terror threats during the Independence Day celebrations on August 15 here.

Officials tasked to create an impregnable air-to-ground security for the event next week, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will unfurl the tri-colour and address the nation, have deployed an assortment of over three dozen sniffer dogs and sophisticated gadgets to ensure that the event is conducted peacefully.

The security of the 17th century monument has been completely taken over by Prime Ministers' security units, both Delhi Police and the Special Protection Group (SPG), and the Ministry of Defence from the CISF on August 8 and the fort has been completely locked out and closed for public till the Independence Day event.

In light of the possible intelligence inputs by central security agencies, they said, a dozen mock drills like placing of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in unsuspected areas, storming of the facility by terrorists, sabotage by planting bombs and similar others are being created every day to check the preparedness of multiple security agencies deployed here like Delhi Police, CISF, ITBP, CRPF and sharp shooters of the elite National Security Guard (NSG).

While an estimated 4,000 security personnel will be deployed to secure the Red Fort and its adjoining area, almost 3,000 others have been kept on standby who will be deployed strategically in the area and other parts of the national capital over the next few days, they said.

Canine squads from the CISF, ITBP, Delhi Police and army are sniffing out each and every inch of the area to look for sabotage devices like IEDs and bombs.

They said the CISF has been asked to sparingly distribute commandos of its quick reaction teams and operatives of its intelligence wing deployed at the monument to work in close coordination with multiple agencies so that nothing is left to chance.

A special control has also been set up for the event even as a "good number" of snipers have been tasked to secure the area from vantage locations.

"While there are no specific alerts, general inputs and reports of a variety of terror threats are there and the agencies are preparing to effectively counter them," a senior official said.

Security at Delhi Metro stations and the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) have been stepped up, they added.

Government had recently warned flying clubs and aviation enthusiasts not to violate airspace during the Independence Day celebrations period here when prohibitory orders are in force in the national capital.PTI