Heightened security for R-Day in Bengaluru

Bengaluru: Security has been stepped up and vigil enhanced to ensure peaceful Republic Day celebrations in the city, a top police official said on Monday.

“Elaborate security arrangements have been made and additional forces deployed in sensitive areas and at vital installations across the city to prevent any untoward incident on the 67th Republic Day on Tuesday,” Bengaluru police commissioner N.S. Megharik told reporters here.

At the Sam Manekshaw parade ground where Karnataka Governor Vajubhai R. Vala will unfurl the tricolour and inspect guard of honour, anti-terror Garuda commando force has been stationed for the first time to secure the venue and maintain heightened vigil.

“The venue has been sanitised with fool-proof security for the three-hour long celebrations where about 10,000 people are expected to witness the parade and other cultural events,” civic corporation commissioner G. Kumar Naik said.

In view of the terror alerts and arrest of 10 terror suspects on January 22-23 in the city, 40 closed circuit television cameras have been installed in and around the parade grounds to monitor the movement of people and vehicles.

“We have engaged bomb detection and dog squads to sniff out any explosive or unidentified objects and keep the area incident-free,” Megharik said.

In all, about 2,000 police personnel, including inspectors, constables and women sub-inspectors, will be on duty from eight a.m. to noon.

Besides mobile squads for patrolling and security enhancement in public places, including airport, railway stations and bus terminals, more personnel have been posted in VIP areas and at vital installations.

“As a security measure, we have banned flying of any unmanned aerial objects, including drones, balloons and unmanned aircraft systems over the city,” Megharik added.

A army helicopter, however, has been allowed to fly over the parade ground to shower petals over the dais where the governor will hoist the national flag and take salute.

After a guard of honour and parade performed by about 2,100 personnel of the three armed services, the state reserve police, scouts and guides and NCC, about 3,000 school children will participate in cultural programmes.

Security has also been beefed up in other cities and towns of Karnataka to ensure peaceful Republic Day celebrations.