New Delhi: Security agencies have launched a special operation as part of which trained dog squads will be deployed to sanitise and ensure fool-proof security at the Red Fort and adjoining areas for Independence Day celebrations on August 15.
Official sources said the operation, codenamed 'Lal Quila', is being spearheaded by the elite dog squad of paramilitary force ITBP with 20 dogs, followed by those from the Army and Delhi police.
As thousands, including top politicians and members of the diplomatic corps, are expected to throng the venue in the heart of the national capital to listen to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort, these four-legged soldiers have been pressed into service in the core and on the periphery of the 17th century structure for security checks.
Indo-Tibetan Border Police, nominated as the national 'centre for excellence' for sniffer and police dogs' training, has put on job a mix of breeds of Belgian 'Malinois', German Shepherds and Labradors for the task.
"The dogs are conducting sniffing and anti-sabotage tasks around the Red Fort and surrounding areas. They are working in regular shifts along with their handlers and they will keep doing their job till the event date of August 15," a senior official privy to operation 'Lal Quila' said.
While a preparatory meeting between all security and intelligence agencies took place last week, the intensity of deployment of the security paraphernalia will increase with every passing day, they said.
Special contingents of National Security Guard (NSG) and Delhi Police commandos have also begun conducting security drills in the area, sources said.
ITBP's canine squad had been deployed at a number of such high-profile events like the International Yoga Day celebrations here on June 21, swearing-in ceremony of the Modi government at the Rashtrapati Bhavan forecourt last year and the visit of US President Barack Obama in January this year.