As many as 20 cars for each letter of the English alphabet — that is how the US Secret Service officers denominated US President Obama’s cavalcade during his two-day sojourn in the capital in addition to other measures that included monitoring phone calls of hotel staff.
“The US President’s entourage of more than 500 cars was divided from A to Z. Each car was assigned an alphabet and a number from 1 to 20,” said a senior police officer.
Sources in the Delhi Police said that higher series meant lower threat perception.
“A car labelled A 21 for instance was taken to mean that the vehicle was deemed to be least likely to be targeted while the higher the series the more likely it was to be targeted,” he said.
Sources say, American security personnel would not trust the same Delhi Police Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) team to sanitise more than a single area.
“For every consecutive operation, they would request another team do the job. They didn’t even allow the lower-rung staff at the Maurya to carry their phones while on duty. Even the senior hotel staff’s phone calls were monitored,” he said.
For six minutes on Tuesday morning, the Capital’s airspace will be closed down for all air traffic. Three minutes before President Barack Obama’s flight takes off from Indira Gandhi International Airport and three minutes after that, the city’s airspace would be closed down.
The close down would take place around 9:15 am.