NSG commandos deployed at Red Fort amid intelligence inputs about possible terror strike

NEW DELHI: It was another quiet evening at Delhi’s Red Fort on Monday till 8.45 in the night. That is when Gypsies and buses carrying National Security Guard (NSG) commandos reached the iconic monument.

This was no mock drill. The elite force trained for anti-terror operations took over the Red Fort in the wake of intelligence inputs about a possible terror strike during festive season. Top Delhi Police officers told DNA that this was not a usual exercise and this was the first instance when the NSG will be camping at the Red Fort, which was attacked in 2000.

Paragliding prohibited
The Delhi Police on Monday night issued an order under Section 144 of the CrPc, prohibiting sub-conventional aerial platforms like paragliders, paramotors, hang gliders, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), microlight aircraft, remotely piloted aircraft, hot-air balloons, small size powered aircraft, quadcopters and even parajumping from aircraft. The order comes will be valid from October 11, 2016 to November 6, 2016.
This correspondent was present at the Red Fort as the commandos set up their barracks by 1 am. They went about their job under minimum lights. All they had were the headlights of their vehicles.

In the last few days, there were two instances of security breach at the Red Fort. An officer from the Special Cell, the Delhi Police’s anti-terror unit, was sent to do a ground check in view of the heightened threat. He walked passed the security check with his weapon. In the second incident, two BSF officers were detained for carrying revolvers while entering the Red Fort.

Sources say that the NSG will camp at the fort for a few days. The NSG’s arrival has also left the local police and other security agencies alarmed.

The cracks
1. On October 8, 2016, a Special Cell officer sneaked into the Red Fort from gate number 1 with his service Glock pistol. He was detected by a police officer and his pistol recovered only after some time. It was gross negligence on the part of the two officers manning the DFMD (Door Frame metal Detector), when the city was on high alert. The officers were transferred to district lines with immediate effect.

  1. On October 9, 2016, two Border Security Force (BSF) personnel were detained while they were entering through gate number 1. Loaded service revolvers were found in their possession as well. They were later let off after a warning.

The Red Fort houses around three Ramlilas and sees a gathering of over 10,000 people per day. Though dignitaries including the President, Vice-President and senior leaders of various political parties visit the fort at this time of the season, the NSG has never been positioned there before. The footfall of visitors who come to see the monument is very large and Chandni Chowk next to it is an add-on.

The Special Cell received an alert on October 3 about the possibility of a terror strike at crowded places during the festive season as it would be an easy target and the attack would get maximum publicity. The advisory specifically mentioned about the tight vigil on the border areas and highways. The Red Fort is situated close to the National Highway.

The advisory further said that the recent surgical strikes by the Indian Army at terrorist launch pads across borders may encourage terrorists to orchestrate indiscriminate acts of terror on iconic targets and civilians. The recent terror attacks in Uri and the Pathankot Air Force base may also encourage the terrorists to carry out another possible strike in the Capital.

Another input said that two fidayeens (suicide bombers) are headed towards Delhi from Kashmir and a high alert was sounded on October 7