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For two days, tourist spots 'no visit' zones

As part of the elaborate security measures for US President Barack Obama's visit to the Capital, the Gandhi Samadhi at Rajghat and Humayun's Tomb at Nizamuddin will remain out of bounds for the public for at least 48 hours. Access to both the sites was blocked for the public since Friday evening due to security concerns. Nivedita Khandekar reports.

delhi Updated: Nov 06, 2010 23:51 IST
Nivedita Khandekar

As part of the elaborate security measures for US President Barack Obama's visit to the Capital, the Gandhi Samadhi at Rajghat and Humayun's Tomb at Nizamuddin will remain out of bounds for the public for at least 48 hours. Access to both the sites was blocked for the public since Friday evening due to security concerns.

This is a "standard drill", the authorities said. The venues are out of bounds for the common man for at least 48 hours before the scheduled visit of the US President. "However, this is not a general rule. It is only in view of the really important people with high-level security concerns that the venues would be closed," said the source.

The Humayun's Tomb, a 16th century monument in red stone and white marble, which in design was a precursor to the Taj Mahal, will be the first halt for Obama in Delhi, after he lands here on Sunday afternoon. Obama is slated to visit the Samadhi of Mahatma Gandhi on Monday morning.

At Rajghat, apart from sealing off the venue for common visitors, the security officials have also put up view-cutters — green cloth screens — on all sides. The precautions were taken in view of the "very high level of threat perception," as a source put it. Similar steps are taken even before January 30 and October 2 (death and birth anniversary of the father of the nation) when a range of Indian VVIPs visit Rajghat. Delhi police, working in tandem with the National Security Guards and the US security officials, have taken over the two venues and 'sanitised' the same for the visiting president and his wife Michelle.