Delhi celebrated the 66th Republic Day with a heavy deployment of policemen on the roads and at Rajpath where President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi watched the parade with chief guest US President Barack Obama.
At least 45,000 policemen, including over 1,000 NSG (National Security Guard) snipers and paramilitary personnel guarded the venue where the tricolour was hoisted in the morning. The personnel were also deployed at public places and city borders.
The NSG snipers maintained a hawks eye vigil from high-rise buildings within a two-km-radius of Rajpath from where the VIPs watched the parade.
The central, north and New Delhi districts were manned by over 20,000 security personnel. Delhi has 11 police districts.
Around 15,000 newly installed closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras have been installed at various places, including the areas where Obama’s cavalcade will move along with some other roads and markets.
Obama will remain in Delhi till Jan 27.
Rajpath, the three-km stretch which was the main venue of the parade, has nearly 160 CCTV cameras. One camera has been installed at every 18 metres.
Officials said as part of heightened security arrangements, the no-fly zone for civil aircraft was extended up to a 500-km radius of Delhi this year. The radius of the no-fly zone for Republic Day functions used to be 300 km earlier, they said.
A seven-layer security ring guarded the VIP enclosure while the internal security arrangements were looked after by officials of the ministry of defence.
The VIP enclosures were bullet-proof but no sheds were put up there.
Security arrangements at ITC Maurya, where Obama is staying during his three-day visit, are being monitored on a daily basis.
Delhi Metro services were partially curtailed as part of security arrangements for Republic Day. Entry and exit points at the Central Secretariat and Udyog Bhawan Metro stations remained closed from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m., while the entry and exit points at Patel Chowk and Race Course stations were closed from 8.45 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Mandi House and Pragati Maidan Metro stations were also closed for an hour between 10.45 a.m. and 11.45 a.m.