India

Five things Delhi is doing to keep Obama safe

An Indian armed "Rapid Response" personnel stand guard at India Gate near the site where the nation"s main Republic Day parade will take place in New Delhi on January 23 Image copyright AFP
Image caption Experts say India is mounting the most elaborate security operation in its history

US President Barack Obama will be greeted with unprecedented security measures when he lands in Delhi for a three-day visit on Sunday.

Thousands of security personnel have been deployed, many roads are blocked to the public, roadblocks have been set up and piles of sandbags have come up at several street corners.

Security experts say this is undoubtedly the most elaborate security arrangement India has ever made.


1. 15,000 security cameras

Image copyright Reuters

According to reports, roughly 15,000 security cameras have being installed in the capital for the Obama visit.

Some 165 cameras are being installed just on one thoroughfare - Rajpath, or King's Avenue, from where the US president will watch the military parade - reports NDTV.

It says American security personnel will be in the control rooms, watching the footage with Indian officials.

The road has been out of bounds for almost a week, with large number of troops guarding every inch of it.


2. 438 rooms

Image copyright AFP

The Maurya Sheraton, one of Delhi's top hotels, is a favourite with American presidents - Bill Clinton and George W Bush stayed there and so did President Obama on his last visit in 2010.

According to reports, all the 438 rooms of the hotel have been booked for President Obama and his entourage and during his three-day visit starting Sunday, no guests will be allowed into the hotel or its restaurants.

The hotel has set up a team of staff who will be looking after the president and the delegates.

Reports say the president's advance security team has arrived at the hotel and is going around checking door handles, locks and air-conditioning ducts to ensure there are no secret listening device or cameras.


3. The Beast

Image copyright AFP

The US president's car, called The Beast, has arrived in the Indian capital, according to reports.

And if the media reports are to be believed, Indian and US security officials are involved in a row over Mr Obama's trip to the Rajpath on Monday morning.

According to tradition, the chief guest arrives with the Indian president in his car to the venue of the military parade.

But US security officials apparently want Mr Obama to travel in The Beast.

The car "is a fortress on wheels equipped to protect him from terror attacks and keep him connected to his office at all times", reports NDTV.


4. Extended no-fly zone

Image copyright Reuters

India has in the past years enforced a no-fly zone within a radius of 300km (190 miles) on Republic Day, but it will be extended to 400km this year, reports Reuters.

This would mean no flights would take off or land in Delhi, Agra or even in Jaipur.

According to reports, the US secret service asked India for a 5km no-fly zone around Rajpath during the event.

The request was turned down as it is a tradition for the Indian Air Force to do a flypast at the end of the parade on Republic Day.


5. The dog squad

Image copyright AFP

Nearly two dozen sniffer dogs have arrived in Delhi ahead of President Obama's visit to sniff out any troubles, according to media reports.

The Times of India says the dog "officers" of the elite K-9 squad of the US secret service will be "staying in style - in suites of a five-star hotel with their handlers".

The report quotes Delhi police sources saying some of the four-legged officers are named Hurricane, Jordan, Rock and Frederick.

The dogs hold "military ranks", they are trained to "sniff out even the most minute traces of explosives" and they will be deployed around Rajpath and at the Maurya Sheraton hotel.

The report advises people not to approach or obstruct the canines who "can run at speeds of 40-50mph and have a deadly bite".


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