B’lore: French consulate gets threat letter against Hollande’s visit

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
  • Updated: Jan 21, 2016 13:05 IST
French President Francois Hollande at an event at Elysee Presidential Palace in Paris on January 20, 2016. The French consulate in Bengaluru has received a threat letter against Hollande’s India visit, police said. (AFP)

The French consulate in Bengaluru on Thursday received an “intimidating” letter demanding that President Francois Hollande cancel his upcoming visit to India.

Hollande is the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi this year.

According to police sources, who remained tight lipped about the contents, the letter arrived by post on January 11. A case was registered at the city’s High Grounds police station on Jan 14.

A senior police official said on Thursday that the tone of the letter was “intimidating” and they did not know yet who had sent the letter. The officer said that the commissioner of police will make an official statement later in the day.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to receive Hollande in Chandigarh on January 24, the first day of his visit.

As many as 71 high-rise buildings in the vicinity of Rajpath in the national capital will be shut down either partially or completely on or before January 25 in view of Republic Day celebrations.

A senior police officer said they will partially or completely shut down 71 high-rise buildings in the vicinity of Rajpath on or before January 25. “The same number of buildings were shut down partially or completely before 2015’s Republic Day celebrations too, in which US President Barack Obama was the chief guest. But in 2014, we had to shut around 45 of them,” said the officer.

Ahead of Hollande’s visit, negotiations between India and France on closing the deal for 36 Rafale multi-role fighters have entered their last, hectic phase. The two nations are now seeking simultaneous inking of the Inter-Government Agreement (IGA) and Commercial Contract during Hollande’s visit, now less than a week away.

Top sources told Hindustan Times that France has this week indicated a maximum price of around 11.6 billion Euros for 36 fighters with full armament complement. That works out to Rs 85,000 crore for three squadrons. The French offer takes into account an annual inflation rate of around 5 per cent with deliveries beginning 2019.

Modi and Hollande will also jointly lay the foundation of Interim Secretariat of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) in Gurgaon on January 25. Given the high-profile visit, falling on the eve of the Republic Day, the city police and the administration authorities are taking no chances and have tightened security.

The event will be attended by senior ministers apart from delegates from India and France.

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