Parts of Varanasi have been put under lockdown as part of a major security operation on the eve of BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's arrival here on Friday.
Intelligence Bureau sleuths and officers of the Gujarat Police reached the city on Thursday and began sanitising places Modi will pass through.
Modi, the chief minister of Gujarat, will arrive at the airport in Babatpur nearby from where he will take a helicopter to fly into the city's Banaras Hindu
University (BHU), which is around 35km away.
The BJP leader will then travel to the city's Sankat Mochan and Vishwanath temples, before returning to the BHU helipad from where he will fly to address a rally at Khajuri in Rajatalab.
A special fleet of the National Security Guards (NSG) will escort Modi's cavalcade from BHU to Sankat Mochan temple and Kashi Vishwanath temple on Friday. Modi and BJP national president Rajnath Singh would move in separate cavalcades.
Sleuths of Intelligence Bureau (IB) and along with local intelligence unit are keeping a close watch on the security scenario, especially at the temples and the rally venue, which may see around 300,000 people in attendance. An area of five km from Modi's rally venue, Khajuri in Rajatalab, has been cordoned off and those living near the venue are under the scanner of the local intelligence unit.
Anti-sabotage checks of the rally venue have been underway, with three inspections being carried out every day to prevent a Patna-like situation when multiple explosions took place and several unexploded bombs were found during the BJP leader's rally. The blasts on the day of Modi's rally in the Bihar capital on October 27 killed six people and injured more than 80.
Deputy inspector general of police A Satish Ganesh has ordered his men to thoroughly check every attendee, especially those sitting in the first row that will include senior BJP workers of the region.