Saturday, November 6, 2010
Obama calling, India on high alert
A high alert has been issued by the Home Ministry ahead of the Barack Obama visit in both New Delhi and Mumbai. The alert issued by the Home Ministry would remain in place until the President of the United States leaves the country.
The alert has been issued ahead of the various intercepts and potential threats the nation faces from Pakistan based outfits, sources in the intelligence bureau told rediff.com.
Indian intelligence agencies along with the secret service agents from the US will conduct regular drills in both New Delhi and Mumbai until the visit comes to an end. Mock drills were also conducted in both the cities ahead of the visit and all roads leading up to where the President would be staying will remain shut. The threat perception is very high and no chances are being taken, a senior official said.
Police officials say that drills will continue and security will be fine tuned from time to time to ensure that the entire visit goes off peacefully. Apart from the intel agencies of both the countries, NSG commandoes too have been roped in to take part in the security drill.
In all there will be 5000 security personnel on guard to take care of the President’s security. Out of this 2000 have been put in charge to guard the hotels in which he will be staying. The first rung of the security cordon would be formed by the US personnel who would accompany the president. The second rung too would comprise US personnel who are already in India while the rest of the three rungs would be manned by the police of the respective cities and also the NSG commandoes.
Security personnel say that guarding the Mumbai coast has been given the most precedence since the alerts speak of serious threats from the sea. While the Indian navy and coast guards have already taken their position they will be assisted by the US Navy too. The Peleliu, an assault ship from the US Navy which carried choppers is also on guard at the Mumbai coast and will remain stationed till the visit comes to an end.
In addition to this all boats on the coast will stay off until the Presidential visit comes to an end. All areas around the Taj Mahal hotel have been santised and there will be no vehicular movement around the area until the visit is over. The Mumbai police have also banned bursting of crackers in all areas that the president would be paying a visit.
Security agencies are have also ordered closure of the air space for around half an hour at the time of the arrival of air force one. All areas which the president would be visit and also the Taj Mahal hotel where he would be staying have been declared as no flying zones, police sources also informed.
The police have advised the people not to venture out at the time the Presidents convoy moves on the road. The police say that all traffic movement will be halted when the convoy of the President moves.