India on alert after intel input of R-Day terror strike

New Delhi: Delhi Police have strengthened the security arrangements in the national capital after they received intelligence inputs of a possible terror attack in the city ahead of Republic Day.

Top Delhi Police sources said that strict security arrangements have been put in place across the national capital.

“On such occasions (Republic Day), Delhi Police always raise the alert. We increase our visibility, presence, and checking to counter any threat,” a senior police officer said.

Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana said in an order that as per reports, certain criminal or anti-social elements or terrorists inimical to India may pose a threat to the safety of the general public, dignitaries, and vital installations.

In view of this, Asthana also put a ban on the use of sub-conventional aerial platforms like para-gliders, para-motors, hang gliders, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), micro-light aircraft, remotely-piloted aircraft, hot air balloons, small-size powered aircraft, quadcopters or even para-jumping from aircraft, etc.

“The safety of the people is our topmost priority. The police have been deployed on roads to intensify patrolling and checking at pickets for area dominance,” the officer said.

Moreover, the recovery of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) on January 14 from the Ghazipur flower market area has already raised the concerns of the Delhi Police.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi district), Deepak Yadav, said that adequate arrangements have been made in and around the Rajpath ahead of Republic Day.

“Around 300 cameras with the face-recognition facility have been installed around the Rajpath to thwart any threat beforehand,” Yadav said. The hotels in the New Delhi district area are also being checked by the cops.

In view of the existing threat, Yadav said that specially-trained commandos of Delhi Police and paramilitary forces would be deployed to counter any threat.

“Apart from the police commandos, assault teams of SWAT, Special Cell and hit squads of NSG would also be deployed,” Yadav said.

As the usage of drones to carry out terror attacks has risen in the recent past, the DCP said any flying object that breaches the security cordons in and around the area of Rajpath will be taken care of. “An anti-drone team will be deployed to take care of that,” he said.

Meanwhile, the government has introduced two important changes — Republic Day celebration week will be held from January 23 to January 30, and the main function will begin 30 minutes later on January 26.

The celebrations will begin from January 23 to mark the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. It will end on January 30 to commemorate Martyrs’ Day. (IANS)

PM to host India-Central Asia Summit on Jan 27

New Delhi: India has announced that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will host the first India-Central Asia summit in a virtual format on January 27 as part of the country’s engagement with the extended neighborhood.

The development follows the government’s decision to go ahead with Republic Day celebrations on January 26 without any foreign leader as chief guest because of a surge in Covid-19 infections. Earlier, the Indian side had invited the leaders of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan to be chief guests, though no formal announcement was made by any of the countries.

The external affairs ministry said the presidents of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan will participate in the virtual summit, described as the “first engagement of its kind between India and the Central Asian countries at the level of leaders.”

At the summit, the leaders are expected to discuss steps to take India-Central Asia relations to newer heights, and exchange views on regional and international issues, “especially the evolving regional security situation,” the ministry added.

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