A cage being prepared for the monkeys. One was captured later

I-Day Safety Challenge: Catch Monkeys at Red Fort

Security agencies face a particular problem ahead of Independence Day – ensuring the Red Fort remains monkey-free when Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the nation from its ramparts and hoists the tricolor on the 15th august.

About 10 trained monkey catchers employed by the municipality and eight by the Delhi government’s Forest District Conservator have been at work for 48 hours after intelligence agencies reported the presence of monkeys at the scene during the day’s rehearsal of independence Friday morning. Not just the Red Fort, Central District officials are also combing through Rajghat, which will also be visited by the Prime Minister, to ensure it is free of monkeys.

Usually, the civic body removes stray dogs from the premises before Independence Day and the Delhi Police deploys men who mimic the sounds made by langurs to scare away the monkeys. “I have worked for the police for 10 years. Every Independence Day, they deploy me and my seven team members to Fort Rouge for about 10 days. We imitate langur sounds, and the monkeys leave. This time the agencies also deployed dedicated monkey catchers alongside us,” said Ravi Kumar, a “monkey expert.”

Sources said the civic body deployed members of their veterinary service and around 10 cages, with bananas as bait, were placed at the scene. On Friday evening, one of the monkeys was caught.