NEW DELHL India: Violence in Punjab has not only changed the life style of the city but also of the character of the celebrations marking the Republic Day. Never before has the capital witnessed an atmosphere that showed the city virtually under police siege. Although Delhi tis have got used to seeing all the paraphernalia of the police and security agencies making elaborate arrangements, they are surprise to find each national day takes a new toll. The first casualty of the glowing violence in Punjab was the cancellation of the spectacular fly past. The Defense Ministry decided to cancel this most important function of the Republic Day parade on the recommendations of the security agencies guarding the V.V.LP.s. There will be a bulletproof box in which the V.V.L.P.s would sit to watch the parade, instead of sitting in the open lush grounds on the Raj Path. The public was also directed that it should not bring any packets, bags or binoculars. Metal detectors were installed all over the place for screening the parade watchers.

Most of the people feel it very difficult to watch the three hour parade without food packets and milk for the accompanying children, but this how functions are to be celebrated in the situation obtaining now. According to informed sources, the Republic Day parade this year would be held under unprecedented security. Thousands of police and Intelligence personnel, nearly four hundred wireless fitted vehicles and a helicopter would be pressed into service.

According to official sources nearly two hundred doors framed. Metal detectors and an equal number of handheld metal detectors would be used in and around Raj Path. The entire area including the roads in New Delhi distinct would be converted into a virtual fort. The area would be sealed for public after Sunday’s full dress rehearsal of the parade. All neighboring states have been told to keep a watch on antinational elements and shady characters.

Article extracted from this publication >> January 29, 1988