Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Unprecendented security blanket will greet Obama

It is a given that whenever a President of the United States of America visits India, security is at an unprecedented high. Security agencies in India who have been coordinating with their US counterparts are not revealing too much about the security plans for security reasons, but they add that there is a threat looming large over India from terror outfits and hence there is additional security being pressed in.

Sources told rediff.com that apart from the security on the ground and santisation of all areas prior to the visit, there would be drones, satellites and US war ships which would be part of the President’s security.

The threat in India is three fold- land, air and sea and due to this, there is no chance being taken when the President of the United States visits India. Sources tell rediff.com that the security on the land and air is pretty much the same as before. However there will be enhanced guarding on the seas especially off the Mumbai coast when the President visits the city since the terror threat has been given an entirely new definition following the 26/11 attack.

While India on its part has enhanced security on the coast and there are regular checks that are taking place at every entry point, the US on its part too would take care of the security aspect on this front. US warships would dock at the Mumbai port and would continue to stand guard until the President leaves the city. The US navy will form several rungs of the security on the coast and would be assisted by the coast guards and the Indian navy as well. The US Navy ships will arrive before hand and with the Indian navy patrol the Mumbai shore in order to keep a tab on any peculiar movement before and during the visit of the president.

Sources pointed out that around 40 secret service agents are already in Delhi and Mumbai and reviewing the security arrangements. They will visit each place where the Preisident would visit everyday and take stock of the situation.

In addition to this Air Force One would land in India along with two jumbo jets. These jets would be accompanied by other security jets in order to prevent any sort of attack on the President’s air craft. Sources also point out that there would be constant movement of drones in all areas where the president would visit. The drones would track movements of other aircrafts and would send warning signals to the ground as part of the security drill.

The satellite services too would be pressed into service during the time of the visit. India’s RISAT will have a big role to play in this exercise. The US too would rely on their own satellites for imagery, communication and GPS information. The RISAT which ISRO claims is not a spy satellite will be more active at such times, sources pointed out. The services of this satellite would be used to track movement on the border areas and also more importantly it would send signals or images of any hostile ships at sea.

Intelligence Bureau officials say that the job of such spy satellites of both India and the US will be pressed into full service at such times. The monitoring by these satellites would be 24/7 and a lot of information pertaining to security will be derived from such satellites.

The Indian Air Force will also have a crucial role to play during this visit. All areas which the president would visit will be declared as no flying zones. No air craft will be permitted to fly in these zones and any hostile aircraft would be shot down at such times. The hotels at which the President will be lodged will be declared as a no flying zone at all times until he leaves, sources informed.

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