Ahmedabad, Feb 23 (IANS) Ahead of mega “Namaste Trump” event, the western part of Ahmedabad was turned into virtual fortress with 10,000 security personnel deployed at almost every nook and corner leading to Motera cricket stadium which will host the programme on Monday.
Officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told IANS that a total of 8,000 personnel are from Gujarat Police, 1,000 from State Reserve Police (SRP) and 1,000 from Rapid Action Force (RAF) and Border Security Force (BSF) comprise security personnel deployed at Motera stadium and its nearby locations up to five kilometres.
The deployment was put on place from February 19 in three shifts of eight hours to ensure security for US President Donald Trump who will arrive in Ahmedabad around noon on Monday, on his less than 36-hour visit to India, to attend the “Namaste Trump” event, said an official.
As Trump will be accompanied by a high-level delegation including First Lady Melania Trump, the President’s daughter Ivanka Trump, son-in-law Jared Kushner and a galaxy of top US officials, and also Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the official said, the National Security Guard (NSG) has been assigned to provide security cover at the Motera stadium and to their convoy reaching there from airport around 12.30 p.m. on Monday.
Besides, Special Protection Group (SPG) will be providing its special security to Prime Minister Modi at the event which is expected to be witnessed by around 1.50 lakh people sitting in the Motera stadium — which the government claims as world’s largest cricket stadium ever built in the world with a seating capacity of 1.35 lakh for common people, 10,000 for VIPs and around 3,500 for VVIPS.
The areas near Sabarmati River which runs through the centre of Ahmedabad and its western bank is the Gandhi Ashram at Sabarmati, which displays the Mahatma’s living quarters and articles, and roads from airport to Motera are covered by the security personnel.
“It is over 1.5 month of a mammoth exercise which began with deployment of over 2,000 police personnel on Motera round the clock, ” another official said.
Almost 3,000 security personnel were on Sunday camping itself inside the Motera stadium and were being briefed by their seniors regarding their responsibilities and focus areas during the event on Monday.
Security personnel deployed at the stadium from different security forces told IANS that they will be on duty by 3 a.m. to 4 a.m. on Monday to ensure impregnable security.
(Rajnish Singh can be contacted at [email protected])