75th Republic Day | Visitors underwent seven layers of security checkpoints

Paramilitary personnel matching past during the 75th Republic Day parade, at Kartavya Path in New Delhi on January 26, 2024.
| Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

On a chilly January 26 morning, India woke up to celebrate its 75th Republic day. With 77,000 invitees flocking to the capital to witness the celebrated parade at Kartavya Path, Delhi was cloaked under a thick security blanket.

Each visitor underwent seven layers of security checkpoints, where security teams frisked visitors thoroughly. Wallets were checked for coins, keys and other non-permissible items.

Also read: Republic Day 2024 Live | January 26, 2024

Aryan Mishra, 24, an engineer, and a resident of Delhi, who visited the parade for the first time, had anticipated security measures, following which, he reached Udyog Bhawan at 6 am. However, it took him more than three hours to be able to get to Kartavya Path. “I was not expecting this much delay and overcrowding but more security personnel’s would’ve resolved this issue”, he said

This year, the security officials were also instructed to keep a special eye on the shoes of the visitors. This was done keeping the attack in parliament on December 13, 2023 wherein people breached parliament security and released yellow-gas canisters during a session. Visitors were asked to take their shoes off, while beepers were also used to scan shoes.

Similar to Mr Mishra, Nishtha, who also attended the parade for the first time, saw shoes being checked. “This was new, I did not know shoes too could be checked, but it’s a good move considering the recent attacks, law and order situation cannot be compromised, a few personnel could have made the security a little more fast paced.”

Invitees started lining up outside around the Kartavya Path, from 5 am onwards, a Delhi police personnel on security duty said.

“Our duty started at 3 a.m. itself, we started with putting up barriers and setting up security checking points,” he added.

Despite 14,000 security personnels in stationed in the capital, some felt additional security may have made for a more seamless system, Karthik Narayan, has been to the parade twice before this, he said “Every year we need more and more personnels to handle the people and ensure a smooth flow of movement.”

To reach Kartavya Path, vehicles were made to undergo several police checkpoints, where police checked the vehicle trunk, and were checked from beneath.

According to a MHA official, there were three types of security codes, red, white and blue.

Several traffic advisories were also issued that barred entry of vehicles in certain stretches of the Capital, while many were requested to opt for public transportation. Delhi metro was also operational from 4 a.m. onwards.

Police put up special security arrangements around Kartavya Path, state border and “vulnerable” areas in the Capital, following Monday’s consecration ceremony at the Ram temple in Ayodhya, added a senior officer.

In the New Delhi district, where the parade took place, was divided into 28 zones, each headed by senior officers.

For smoother functioning, police set up missing persons booths, helpdesks, first-aid kiosks and separate facilitation booths where the visitors can deposit their vehicle keys before the parade have also been set up.

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