Taj Hotel turned into fortress to host Hillary Clinton
Around 2,000 police and intelligence personnel besides commandos will provide security to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her two-day stay in the national capital.delhi Updated: Jul 17, 2009 21:00 IST
Around 2,000 police and intelligence personnel besides commandos will provide security to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her two-day stay in the national capital.
The Taj Palace Hotel where she will be staying has been turned into a virtual fortress and US intelligence officials have taken over the entire floor where her room is located.
Clinton, who arrives in Mumbai Friday night, is scheduled to arrive in the national capital on Sunday afternoon.
Several hundred Delhi policemen and women, including plainclothes personnel, along with intelligence officials have thrown a security blanket around the spots Clinton will visit during her stay here.
The National Security Guard (NSG) commandos will be deployed at identified locations in the city, as will be Delhi Police and US intelligence officials.
"The hotel area has been sanitized and the floors above and below her room have been vacated to ensure foolproof security. The hotel authorities have been directed to check the details of all guests staying in the hotel and those scheduled to check in during her stay," a senior security official told IANS.
According to Delhi Police, Clinton has been given top diplomat-level security and will travel in a bullet-proof vehicle piloted and escorted by security officials.
"A multi-layer security cover will be in place and so far there is no threat whatsoever. All security measures have been taken in consultation with officials of US intelligence agencies," sources in the Delhi Police told IANS.
Security agencies have placed bomb disposal squads, spotters and dog squads, and anti-sabotage teams in different parts of the hotel.
"Many commandos and intelligence officials will be in plain clothes and the hotel security staff has already been briefed. The instructions from security agencies have been passed on to them," the officials said.
The floor on which the US secretary of state will be staying was not revealed to the media, but officials said the floor will be closed from Sunday morning. An access control room will be set up in the hotel to keep up-to-date information.
Arrangements have been made to deploy additional police control room (PCR) vehicles and an ambulance in case of an emergency.
The Delhi Police and Intelligence Bureau are working together on the security issue. US officials have also reviewed the arrangements made.
Security personnel have been deployed along the routes that Clinton will be taking to commute around the city.
She is scheduled to attend a Delhi Climate Change Summit at the ITC Greens Building in Gurgaon and an agriculture event at the Pusa Institute in central Delhi on Sunday. She will visit Delhi University in north Delhi on Monday.
Clinton also has several political engagements for Monday, including meetings with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Bharatiya Janata Party leader L.K. Advani and External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna. There will be a media interaction too on that day.
Clinton last visited the Indian capital in 2000 when she accompanied her husband, then US president Bill Clinton, and they stayed at the Maurya Sheraton Hotel.