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High security in place as Delhi readies for Modi’s swearing-in | Latest News Delhi

A three-tier security net is set to descend upon the Capital on Sunday for Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan, people aware of the matter said on Saturday.

Delhi Police personnel patrol Raisina Hill on the eve of the swearing-in ceremony on Saturday. (Arvind Yadav/HT Photo)

The people said that more than 7,000 guests, along with leaders from seven countries in the neighbourhood and the Indian Ocean region, are set to attend the ceremony, and more than 500 personnel and senior officers from the Delhi Police and paramilitary forces, along with National Security Guard (NSG) commandos are set to guard Raisina Hill and its surrounding areas.

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Modi is set to be sworn in as Prime Minister on Sunday evening at the forecourt area of Rashtrapati Bhavan, with security forces sealing off the area ahead of the ceremony.

A senior police officer said that five companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed at the inner and outer perimeter of Rashtrapati Bhavan, and around Kartavya Path to ensure tight security.

The officer said that the forces are conducting random checks at the venue as well as at hotels scattered across Lutyens Delhi where the guests from out of town will be staying.

“An air-to-ground surveillance will be in place around Lutyens Delhi to ensure there is no threat to guests. Snipers will be placed around the venue for added protection. The security arrangements will be similar to the ones in place during the G20 Summit last year since seven world leaders will be staying in New Delhi,” said the officer.

The traffic police on Saturday announced that restrictions will be in place in and around Rashtrapati Bhavan, with only VIP movement to be allowed on Sansad Marg, Rafi Marg, Raisina Road, Rajendra Prasad Road, Mother Teresa Crescent, and Sardar Patel Marg.

Police presence has also been ramped up at traffic points in Connaught Place, Rajghat, Parliament House, and other VIP areas to frisk and conduct checks. VIP movement will also be observed at Rajghat and Sadaiv Atal on Monday morning, with Indraprastha Marg, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, Jawaharlal Nehru Marg, and Mahatma Gandhi Marg set to be blocked for commuters from 6.45 am to 8.45 am.

Police said diversion points have been created at Delhi Gate, Rajghat Chowk, Shanti Van crossing, Salim Garh, Geeta Colony flyover, and Subhash Park T-point. Police posted in the New Delhi police district have been asked to keep an eye on the venue from the Kartavya Path police station. Ten screens have been installed at the police station to monitor all movement.

Delhi Police have imposed prohibitory orders under section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to prevent any protest or gathering in the area. Only security personnel with permits duly signed and guests with passes will be allowed near the venue, the officer quoted above said.

Police commissioner Sanjay Arora in an order said that Delhi will be a non-flying zone for the ceremony. The police in an advisory on X said, “With effect from 09.06.2024, there will be a prohibition on flying of sub-conventional aerial platforms like para-gliders, para-motors, hang-gliders, UAVS, UASS, microlight aircraft, remotely piloted aircraft, hot air balloons, small sized powered aircraft, quadcopters or para-jumping from aircraft etc. over the jurisdiction of the NCT of Delhi in view of swearing-in ceremony in the National Capital Territory of Delhi to thwart criminal, anti-social elements or terrorists inimical to India from posing a threat to the safety of the general public, dignitaries and vital installations by using them”.

However, these curbs do not extend to scheduled flights, and IAF, BSF and army helicopters.

Leaders from seven countries in the neighbourhood and the Indian Ocean region are set to attend Modi’s swearing-in ceremony “keeping with the highest priority accorded by India” to its “Neighbourhood First” policy and “SAGAR” or Security and Growth for All in the Region vision, the external affairs ministry said on Saturday.

The leaders attending the ceremony are Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu, Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe, Seychelles vice-president Ahmed Afif, Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, and Bhutan Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay.

The leaders will also attend a banquet hosted by President Droupadi Murmu at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Sunday evening, the ministry’s statement said.

While Hasina will hold a bilateral meeting with Modi on Sunday night, officials were working on arranging similar meetings with the other visiting foreign leaders. Some of the bilateral meetings could be held on Monday, officials said.

Modi and Hasina are expected to discuss issues such as the renewal of a treaty on sharing the waters of the Ganga and Bangladesh’s plans to dredge its section of the Teesta.

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