“As the threat perception is high during the US President’s visit, security officials are not ready to take any chance,” said a senior official in the Delhi Police.
The police along with the Central Investigation Agency (CIA) and Municipal Council of Delhi (MCD) officials are busy drawing maps of underground pipelines — mainly sewerage lines to ensure that no explosive materials are planted in them. “We are scanning the roads where the President and his entourage will travel,” said the official refusing to give further details.
Admitting that it was a routine exercise during top dignitaries, visit to the national capital, the police have drawn up a detailed plan to provide fool-proof security for the president during his two-day stay in the city.
Though, the inner security cover will be provided by American secret agents and CIA officials who have already landed in Delhi, outer security will be provided by the Delhi Police.
Over 2,000 cops, including men from paramilitary forces and quick reaction teams, will be deployed at all strategic locations and sharp shooters will be positioned on high-rise buildings on the route where the US President’s convoy will travel.
The police have already completed the recce of the places where Obama will visit including the Mahatma Gandhi Samadhi at Raj Ghat, the Parliament building where he will address the joint session and venue of the joint press conference at Hyderabad House and ITC Maurya Sheraton where he will stay during his visit.
CIA chief Leon Panetta was in the country for a week in September during which he met Union Home Minister P Chidambaram and senior officials ahead of Obama’s visit and discussed security arrangements.
The Delhi Police are likely to use the most sophisticated security surveillance system — C4Eye. The equipment, imported from Israel for the Commonwealth Games, costs over Rs 150 crore. The system has 36 cameras, which will be installed at key places and will be monitored in a common control room set up at the Delhi police headquarters.