Security tightened in Punjab, Haryana ahead of R-Day celebrations

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Chandigarh, Jan 25 (PTI) Security has been stepped up across Punjab and Haryana, and additional forces have been deployed in districts bordering Delhi ahead of Republic Day celebrations and farmers' tractor parade on Tuesday, officials said.

Services of bomb disposal squad and sniffer dog units were being taken to sensitise the vulnerable places across Punjab and Haryana, and the vehicles entering the two states were being checked thoroughly, they said.

Punjab Governor and Administrator of Chandigarh V P Singh Badnore will unfurl the tricolour at a state-level function in Mohali.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh will hoist the national flag at Patiala.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be no large public gathering during the Republic Day functions, the officials said.

On Monday, the Haryana government released a revised list regarding unfurling of the national flag by some top dignitaries on Republic Day.

According to an official statement here, a change has been made in the venue where Chief Minister M L Khattar will unfurl the tricolour.

He will now unfurl the tricolour at an event in Panchkula instead of Panipat.

Though no reason was given in the statement regarding change in the venue, sources said it had to be changed following the movement of a large number of farmers from Punjab and Haryana to Delhi for the tractor parade.

Haryana Governor Satyadeo Narain Arya will unfurl the tricolour at the Raj Bhawan.

Sonipat's Superintendent of Police Jashandeep Randhawa said police have made foolproof security arrangements to ensure Republic Day celebrations pass off smoothly.

Randhawa told reporters in Sonipat that traffic diversion plans have been put in place as the tractor parade is likely to cause some disruptions.

'We are coordinating with neighbouring districts Karnal and Panipat so that heavy vehicle traffic can be diverted from there,' he said.

The Haryana Police issued an advisory on Sunday, stating that in view of the security and traffic arrangements for Republic Day and the tractor parade, there would be disruptions in vehicular movement on the national highway from Karnal and Rohtak towards Delhi during January 25-27.

'Traffic on KMP-KGP expressway will also be impacted and interchanges at Kundli, Assaudha and Badli will not be accessible to traffic movement on these dates,' the police advisory said.

'Therefore, all commuters are being advised not to use these routes on these dates to avoid any inconvenience,' it added. PTI CHS/SUN SNE