After US President Barack Obama’s cavalcade left Rajpath at the close of the Republic Day celebrations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi got out of his car, broke the security cordon and went to greet the crowd. Police, though taken aback, were not surprised because Modi had done something similar on Independence Day.
A senior police officer present at the spot said, “The Prime Minister saw Obama off and then sat in his car. The cavalcade moved a short distance forward. The car carrying the Prime Minister suddenly stopped and the PM got out. He started walking towards the audience enclosures, beaming at the people. Though police were taken aback, two tiers of police personnel were rushed in to prevent the crowd from breaking the enclosure barriers. However, everything went off smoothly. After shaking hands with his supporters, Modi got back into his car. He had broken his security cordon on August 15 as well, when he greeted school children. So we were expecting a repeat.”
Police said they had difficulty managing the crowd and traffic, because of the rain.
Despite the inclement weather, there was a large turnout for the parade, a senior police officer said. “We pulled it off in the end,” the senior officer said.
The Delhi Police had roped in 25,000 personnel, who were deployed on the parade routes on Rajpath and adjoining areas.
These included Crime Branch officials, and government personnel like the Railway Protection Force and Central Reserve Police Force among others, an officer said.
All police officers arrived at their deployment points 15 minutes ahead of schedule, a senior police officer said. The Prime Minister’s security detail comprised between 70 to 100 men, which included personnel from the National Security Guard, the Special Protection Group, the Security unit and the local police, the senior officer said.
A seven-tier security ring comprising police and military personnel was put in place around the VIP enclosure, a police officer said.