Delhi is in full gear to celebrate the occasion of the 77th Independence Day. However, the city is also on high alert, as the Delhi Police has intensified their security operations across the national capital, particularly around the iconic Red Fort. As the Fort is ready for flag hoisting and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech, the Delhi Police has increased patrolling and checking of vehicles.
Security planning consists of multi-layered security cover that involves coordination among various security agencies. The National Security Guard (NSG), Special Protection Group (SPG), Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and Delhi Police are working together to ensure a safe environment. Paramilitary forces have encircled the Red Fort for a 200-meter radius, while the Delhi Police is incharge of the remaining areas.
To secure the area effectively, prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) have been imposed around the Red Fort, Rajghat and ITO regions. This move aims to maintain order and enhance security during this crucial time. The DCP Central Delhi posted on social media site X, formerly known as Twitter, “In view of Independence Day celebrations, Section 144 CrPC has been invoked in areas nearby Rajghat, ITO, Red-fort etc. No gathering of any kind is permitted in these areas.” Notably, the Red Fort itself has been off-limits to the public since July 26. The Special Protection Group (SPG) has taken control of the premises to ensure its safety and sanitisation leading up to the event.
Considering the past incident where a kite had caused disruption during Prime Minister Modi’s address in 2021, the local residents have been informed about the prohibition on kite flying near the Red Fort till the event is over. A team of experienced kite-flyers are assisting in sensitisation efforts. Along with that, a total of 153 kite catchers have been deployed with the necessary equipment at strategic locations to intercept kites.
Interestingly, cutting-edge technology is playing a significant role in the security strategy. Over 1,000 facial recognition cameras, anti-drone systems, and 10,000 police personnel are being used to maintain a high level of vigilance at the Red Fort. This level of preparedness also takes into account recent incidents of violence in Haryana’s Nuh and nearby areas, prompting extra caution. In contrast to the security measures in 2021, when the Delhi Police erected a huge wall of shipping containers decorated with graffiti at the main gate of Red Fort, there is no such wall for security reasons, this year. Moreover, airspace security is being strictly monitored. Until August 16, a ban is in place on certain 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. over the jurisdiction of the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
Moving beyond the capital, from August 11 to August 17, the Border Security Force (BSF) has initiated Operation Alert along the international border between India and Pakistan. This operation focuses on curbing smuggling and infiltration by patrolling, enhancing checkpoints and strengthening overall monitoring in the region.
Decorations, celebrations and attendees
For this independence day, the Gyan Path in front of the Red Fort is adorned with flowers and G20 signage, symbolising the national festival celebrations. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also urged the people of India to participate in the ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ movement from August 13 to 15. He has asked them to upload their photographs with the Tiranga on the ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’ website.
Keeping in line with its vision of ‘Jan Bhagidari’, the government has extended invitations to approximately 1,800 special guests, including beneficiaries of the PM-KISAN scheme, from across the country. Sarpanches from vibrant villages, teachers, nurses, farmers, fishermen, shram yogis who helped build the Central Vista project in New Delhi, khadi sector workers, national award-winning school teachers, border roads organisation workers and those who helped and worked for the Amrit Sarovar projects and Har Ghar Jal Yojana Projects, implemented in various parts of the country, have all been attending the event along with their spouses.