Heart of city locked down for new PM’s swearing-in

Three-tier security being provided to SAARC leaders at hotels they are staying in.

Written by Ananya Bhardwaj | New Delhi | Updated: May 26, 2014 9:48:47 am
 preparations underway on the forecourt of the presidential palace for the scheduled Modi's swearing in ceremony. (Source: AP photo) Preparations underway on the forecourt of the presidential palace for the scheduled Modi’s swearing in ceremony. (Source: AP photo)

The swearing-in ceremony of India’s 15th Prime Minister, Narendra Modi — to be witnessed by nearly 4,000 invitees, including the heads of state and governments of SAARC nations — will be guarded by a ground-to-air security paraphernalia involving over 6,000 security personnel.

Delhi Police said the security system put in place for the ceremony is on a par with security arrangements made for the Republic Day parade. The paraphernalia includes positioning anti-aircraft guns at classified locations, snipers on all highrise buildings, mobile hit and Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams, besides the security cover by paramilitary and police commandos.

“It is a difficult situation as seven heads of state are coming to attend the ceremony and high security needs to be provided to all of them. We are providing a three-tier security to them even at the hotels they are staying in. Police personnel from outside the district are also assisting us,” a senior police officer said.

“Prohibitory orders have been clamped in entire New Delhi district. Since a full air defence grid is in place, any airborne activity, including hot air balloons, will not be allowed. Dog and bomb-disposal squads have already sanitised the venue, and the drill will be repeated several times on Monday. NSG commandos will form the innermost layer of security,” M K Meena, Joint Commissioner of Police (New Delhi district), said.

Police said North Block, South Block and defence buildings around Rashtrapati Bhawan will be shut at 1 pm on Monday, following which they will be sanitised by security agencies and their rooftops secured.

Only official vehicles will be allowed inside, while commandos and local police will strengthen the operations of traffic police.“The security blanket will be operational till the time all invitees leave Rashtrapati Bhawan,” Meena said.

The roads around Raisina Hills leading to Rashtrapati Bhawan will be barricaded as part of the security measures. When the heads of the SAARC countries leave for the venue, the entire route to Rashtrapati Bhawan will be sanitised to ensure secure movement of the VVIPs.

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