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Massive security ensures peaceful R-day celebrations in Delhi

Massive security ensures peaceful R-day celebrations in Delhi

New Delhi: With memories of Mumbai attacks fresh in mind, Delhi was today under a massive ground-to-air security apparatus for the main Republic Day celebrations which was witnessed by the top brass of the country’s political leadership, sans Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Amid heightened threat perception, mobile hit teams, anti-aircraft guns and sharpshooters of the elite National Security Guards were deployed at various locations while thousands of paramilitary and Delhi Police commandos kept a tight vigil along the 8-km-long parade route.

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cfd0a13c-ebca-11dd-9ce3-000b5dabf636.flvA multi-layer security ring was put in place at Rajpath, where President Pratibha Patil unfurled the tricolour and took the salute of marching contingents. Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Chief Guest for the celebrations, also witnessed the parade along with the country’s top political leadership.

The Prime Minister could not attend the celebrations as he was recuperating after a by-pass surgery in the AIIMS.

With memories of November 26 Mumbai attacks fresh in mind and inputs warning of attempts to disrupt the celebrations, authorities ensured that there was no room for any untoward incident.

The warnings were strengthened by Uttar Pradesh police’s claim yesterday that it had foiled a bid by two Pakistani terrorists to reach Delhi on the eve of the Republic Day by killing them.

Around 20,000 security personnel, including 5,500 from paramilitary forces, were deployed across the capital with commandos of the ITBP and Delhi Police positioned at strategic locations. Snipers were deployed at all high-rises along the parade route.

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