Unprecedented security for US President Barack Obama's Delhi visit
An unprecedented security arrangement, comprising Delhi Police and para-military forces, has been put in place in the national capital ahead of the arrival of the US President Barack Obama, who is on a three-day visit beginning tomorrow.
New Delhi: An unprecedented security arrangement, comprising Delhi Police and para-military forces, has been put in place in the national capital ahead of the arrival of the US President Barack Obama, who is on a three-day visit beginning tomorrow.
Obama, who will be the first US President to be a Chief Guest at a Republic Day, will be arriving tomorrow morning as Delhiites wake up to the unprecedented security arrangements with traffic restrictions on roads leading to Central Delhi.
Snipers of Delhi Police and National Security Guards will occupy all high-rise buildings on the routes which Obama will be travelling.
The green ridge opposite to Maurya Sheraton hotel has been thoroughly checked and police personnel have been deployed in the jungles along the ridge till the US President leaves.
Central Delhi has turned into a virtual fortress with security agencies partly or completely shutting down nearly 71 buildings. Even bonafide citizens of this area, including MPs and officers of the Armed Forces, have been either issued special passes or have to establish their identities to enter the zone.
A joint team of the US Secret Services and sleuths of central security agencies will be monitoring specially established control rooms which are connected to freshly installed CCTVs for the VVIP, who will be the chief guest at the 66th Republic Day on Monday.
Dedicated radar has been put in place to detect any suspicious movement in the sky and additional anti-aircraft guns have been put in place to shoot down any aerial intrusion.
The Director General of Civil Aviation has issued a 'NOTAM' (Notice to Air Men) for diverting all flights flying over Delhi at the time of the parade.
Earlier, planes flying above 32,000 feet did not fall in the category of no-fly zone, but now the height has been raised to 35,000 feet, the sources said.
However, no plane will be flying within a radius of 400 km of the Rajpath as against 300 km on earlier occasions, they said. This means airports adjoining Delhi like Jaipur, Agra and as far as Lucknow or Amritsar may not operate flights when the function will be on in the national capital.
Sticking to the past practice, no plane will land or take off at the Indira Gandhi International Airport here during the time of the parade.
American officials may also be part of all radar stations and control rooms that have been set up for the visit of the US President.
The 3 km stretch of Rajpath, the main venue of the Republic Day parade, will be secured with a seven-layer security and will have over 160 CCTV cameras - with one camera installed at every 18 metres.
The control room of these cameras will be monitored at a multi-agency control room where sleuths of US Secret Service will also be present.
Police has also installed around 80 face-recognition cameras around the venue of Republic Day celebrations and at the city's entry points to identify any anti-national or criminal elements.
The 80,000-strong Delhi Police force assisted by another 20,000 drawn from para-military forces and state armed police will be on vigil to prevent any untoward incident.
For the first time, Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) may be deployed here on the Republic Day for vigil from the skies during the parade.
The AWACS will monitor air space above and around Rajpath where the parade will be witnessed by Obama along with President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a host of other dignitaries.
Specialised canine units of Indian para-military forces will be in service along with team of seven Belgian 'Malinois' dogs of the US Navy Seals which are accompanying the security personnel of the US.
Known as 'canine officers', their breed shot to limelight following Operation Neptune Spear where they sniffed out and helped in the arrest of most wanted terrorist Osama Bin Laden from his safehouse in Abbottabad in Pakistan.
These canines have already landed here and deployed to secure the retreat for Obama's visit - ITC Maurya - along with a dozen canines of the Indo Tibetan Border Police.