A full security drill in Mumbai and Delhi this week — complete with snipers on rooftops — will allow India’s security establishment and the US Secret Service tie up loose ends and provide the “foolproof” security promised by Home Minister P Chidambaram during President Barack Obama’s first state visit.
NSG commandos, Mumbai police, Indian intelligence agencies, the Navy and Air Force and US agents will all participate in the full security rehearsal in the city on Thursday.
A similar drill will be carried out in Delhi on Friday.
Ports and airports have already been told to scrupulously scan incoming parcels, particularly from Yemen and Somalia, after two US-bound parcel bombs sent from Yemen were seized in an alleged Al Qaeda plot.
When Obama’s Air Force One enters Indian air space on November 6, both US and Indian air traffic controllers at Mumbai’s ATC tower will help guide the plane to the city airport.
“Initially, there were suggestions that the American air traffic staff will take over the ATC tower and the regular staff will move out of the control room,” a government source said. “But we did not agree…”
All high-rise buildings in the vicinity of the Taj hotel in Colaba and Delhi’s Maurya Sheraton hotel, where Obama will stay, will be sanitised and commandos will guard them from rooftops.
While Navy personnel will guard the city’s coastline, IAF fighter jets and helicopters will protect the skies.