Authorities in India have beefed up security across major cities including capital city New Delhi, days ahead of its 68th Republic Day celebrations, officials said Monday.

The step according to police officials has been taken to thwart possible attempts by militant groups to disrupt official celebrations.

“The national capital has been brought under ground-to-air security cover with thousands of armed personnel keeping a tight vigil for Republic Day celebrations,” a police official in New Delhi said.

Amid tight security a full dress rehearsal for Republic Day parade was held in the city.

Reports said nearly 50,000 security personnel drawn from Delhi Police and paramilitary were guarding every nook and corner of the city for full dress rehearsal.

During the rehearsal march past by armed forces, manoeuvres by fighter aircraft and a colourful display of India’s cultural heritage were witnessed.

A tableaux from 17 Indian states and six ministries showcasing varied themes participated in the rehearsal. A huge crowd had gathered at Rajpath to watch the function.

The rehearsal parade started from Vijay Chowk and culminated at Red Fort ground. The rehearsals created traffic jam in central Delhi, especially in areas close to India Gate.

The state-run broadcaster All India Radio (AIR) quoting a senior police official said they would use anti-drone technology to thwart any attack or identify any suspicious flying object, besides deploying security personnel atop buildings with anti-aircraft guns.

“On Jan. 25, Delhi borders will be sealed and all cars entering the national capital will be checked thoroughly,” the broadcaster said. “CCTV cameras have been installed and eight control rooms set up to monitor the feed from the cameras.”

In restive Indian-controlled Kashmir India’s paramilitary authorities have sounded an alert. The paramilitary troopers of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and policemen deployed on roads in the region were seen checking vehicles, frisking pedestrians in twin capital cities of Srinagar and Jammu.

Policemen carrying metal detectors were seen checking roadsides and vehicles for explosives.

The security agencies have also cordoned off the Bakhshi Stadium and Moulana Azad Memorial Stadium – the main venues for Jan. 26 function in Srinagar and Jammu respectively.

Likewise unprecedented security arrangements have been made in northeastern states of India for the upcoming celebrations.

Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, will be the chief guest at Republic Day celebrations scheduled on Thursday in New Delhi.

Addressing a press conference in New Delhi on Monday, Deputy Parade Commander, Major General Rajesh Sahai said a contingent of UAE soldiers will also march down the Rajpath during the ceremony.

This will be the second time when a foreign contingent will participate in India’s Republic Day function.

Last year, the French marching band had joined the parade.

The Republic Day in India marks adoption of the constitution of India. Every year the day is celebrated by India on Jan. 26. The main function is held in New Delhi, where India’s military, navy and air force display their skills and military might. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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