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No sniffer dogs at Rajghat, says trustee

delhi Updated: Nov 03, 2010 17:09 IST
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No "sniffer" dog will be allowed into Rajghat before US President Barack Obama visits the Mahatma Gandhi memorial, a mistake committed during then president George W. Bush's 2006 visit that sparked a huge row, Rajghat Samadhi Committee's secretary said.

"We learn from mistakes and don't repeat them. It was a mistake to bring sniffer dogs to Rajghat in 2006 and it will not be repeated when Obama visits next week," Rajnish Kumar, secretary of the Rajghat Samadhi Committee, said.

In 2006, Bush was received at Rajghat by noted Gandhian Nirmala Deshpande. Now that she is no more, Obama will be welcomed by Kumar.

Earlier, Mahatma Gandhi's great-grandson Tushar Gandhi had cautioned Indian American authorities against repeating the 'sniffer dog' mistake.

"I know security is a concern and it has changed the way we live. But would they have allowed sniffer dogs at Lincoln Memorial or Washington monuments before our prime minister and president visits? There should be dignity in bilateral relations," Tushar Gandhi said on Tuesday.

"I also understand that Mani Bhavan (the Gandhi museum in Mumbai) will be closed for two days prior to Obama's visit. That is also not right," he added.

Obama is scheduled to visit India Nov 6-8. He will visit Rajghat Nov 8.

Deputy Commissioner of Police for security U.K. Chaudhary said he was aware of the 2006 incident and promised it will not happen this time.