Ahmedabad, Feb 24 (IANS) After long hectic days of preparations for ‘Namaste Trump’, state government officials, and organisers as well as those handling security arrangements in the city took a sigh of relief on Monday after the successful culmination of the programme.
The land of Mahatma Gandhi had been preparing for the event from last year to greet US President Donald Trump on his maiden arrival to India as President. With Trump’s leaving the city after his address at the Motera stadium, organisers of the gigantic exercise were relieved as it was a show at a scale never organised before in Ahmedabad, with many terming it a modern day ‘Circus Maximus’ (of ancient Rome).
All the 8,000 Gujarat Police personnel of a total of 10,000 deployed in the state’s commercial capital have been withdrawn from duty and sent back to their parent postings from where they were brought here for the event that never seen such tight security – even when Chinese President Xi Jinping came in 2014 or when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited his home state after his emphatic win in the 2019 general elections.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Zone II, Dharmendra Sharma told IANS that he is happy with the successful culmination of the event which kept him as well as the whole police department vigilant round the clock since last 10 days.
Over 25-30 Superintendent of Police rank officers, 200 Inspectors, and over 400 Sub-Inspectors were on the job to protect the city in the presence of 25 Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) units and over 2,000 Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel and Border Security Force (BSF), Sharma said.
“All the police personnel brought from outside the city has been released from duty. Only RAF is still here as it is part of the security drill.”
The city was on almost standstill on Monday when the President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump landed in the historic city around 11.30 a.m. and took part in a 22 km roadshow from the Ahmedabad International to Motera stadium via Sabarmati Ashram.
Ahmedabad, a heritage city founded by Ahmed Shah, from whom the modern day city takes its name, was decked with hoardings, some say numbering was around 3,000, of the ‘Namaste Trump’ event.
The city was spruced up with a fresh coat of paint on the walls and the scrubbed Sabarmati river front. There were cardboard cutouts of Modi and Trump and digital hoardings everywhere.
The organisers of the showpiece event, Donald Trump Nagrik Abhinandan Samiti, which is little-known, also took relief with the end of the programme without any hurdle.
One of Samiti’s member, requesting anonymity, told IANS that it was a “challenging” task to handle the event organised at the Motera stadium where Modi and Trump addressed an estimated gathering of over 1.25 lakh people. “The event was organised on the lines of the one arranged by the Indian Americans in Houston for Modi last year.”
There is still no clarity about the origin of the Donald Trump Nagarik Abhivadan Samiti.
(Rajnish Singh can be contacted at [email protected])