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  #11  
Old 10-03-2010, 10:35 AM
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Workers attach a giant puppet to a multi-purpose aerostat to be used for the opening ceremony at the remodeled Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. Puppets from Rajasthan are the highlight of the show. (AP Photo)

In an unprecedented security cover, over 1.15 lakh security personnel were keeping a watch in the capital a day before the 19th Commonwealth Games on Sunday.

As many as 195 paramilitary companies — six of which are constituted by women — including 2,300 commandos, 100 anti-sabotage teams, 300 sniffer dogs, 80 radiation meters and 15 bomb disposal squads are securing the city. Add to the heady combo IAF helicopters with snipers, NSG men on top of high-rises around venues and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and you have a sporting event with unprecedented security.

Like any top cop waiting to pass a major test, Delhi police commissioner chose his words carefully on Saturday. ‘‘The security arrangement was made after considerable thought, rethought, examination and reexamination.

It is a multi-layered, multi-dimensional arrangement,” he said. Noting that it was a “moment of great challenge” to ensure security for the Games, Dadwal said: “We have a higher security matrix for the Games compared to any other event ever held in the city”.

Take the example of the opening ceremony alone. Sources said at least 7,500 security personnel will guard Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. Over 350 CCTV cameras will keep a hawk’s eye on the spectators.

Ninety checkpoints — the highest-ever in a stadium complex in India — has been set up with security divided in the outer, middle, inner and exclusive zones. The sources said defence helicopters with will do an aerial recce of the Games Village and stadiums at regular intervals. The helicopters will receive additional support from three UAVs, which will also be pressed into service for surveillance work at regular intervals.

The sources said about 70 personnel of the Delhi Police’s Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) have been trained by the Indian Air Force and the NSG to shoot down suspicious manned or unmanned ‘‘ flying objects”. The three Light Armoured Troop Carriers — bought at Rs 54 lakh each — will also be deputed at the venues and during the opening ceremony.

Eighty radiation meters have also been procured and CBRN teams of the NDRF and the Army have been deployed to tackle emergencies like chemical, biological and nuclear radiations. The Army has also been put on standby, the sources said.

There is no specific terror threat, commissioner Dadwal said. ‘‘There is no truth to the intelligence input that terrorist Illyas Kashmiri is targeting the Games,’’ he said.

Helping the security personnel are gadgets like baggage and car scanners, pass readers, integrated CCTV cameras and many more. An integrated communication room has been set up at the Delhi Police headquarters. Named C4i, it will provide round-the-clock access to all venues through the CCTV network and aerial pictures sent by the UAVs. ‘‘We have dedicated hotlines for each security and civil agency here. Any emergency will be monitored from here,’’ said Karnal Singh, joint CP (Northern Range).
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Old 10-03-2010, 06:02 PM
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The Australian contingent at the opening ceremony. (AFP Photo
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Old 10-03-2010, 06:02 PM
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India's delegation led by flagbearer and shooter Abhinav Bindra arrives onto the field. (AFP Photo)
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Old 10-03-2010, 06:02 PM
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Giant puppets from Rajasthan left the viewers awestruck.
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Old 10-03-2010, 06:03 PM
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Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales receives the Queen's Baton from Indian wrestler Sushil Kumar. (AFP Photo)
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