The Mumbai police accompanied by the US Secret Service and US Marines conducted a security drill on Thursday at several places in south Mumbai. The exercise was part of the security build up for US President Barack Obama’s visit to the city on Saturday.
According to sources in the Mumbai police, drills were held at all venues where Obama is scheduled to visit during his one-and-half-day stay. Dress rehea-rsals were also held on the routes that Obama’s convoy would take to reach the venues.
Though Mumbai police commissioner Sajneev Dayal refused to divulge the exact number of security personnel who participated in the drill, sources said over 5,000 policemen were involved.
From the American side, 40 Marine commandos participated along with 24 Secret Service personnel.
The drill, which was aimed at assessing and evaluating the security preparedness for crowd control, vehicle diversion and identification of possible suspects from amongst thousands of onlookers, involved uniformed as well as plainclothes personnel.
According to sources, the Quick Response Team (QRT), armoured personnel carriers, mobile CCTV units, mobile scanning vehicle, rakshak anti-sabotage vans also participated in the drill.
Mani Bhavan, which is one of the places Obama is likely to visit, will be shut for outsiders from November 5-7, while entry to the Holy Name School and St Xavier’s College will also be barred. Also, the guest list at Oberoi hotel is being thoroughly scrutinised. All entry and exit points of the hotel will be closed till Obama is present at a scheduled function.
Meanwhile, replying to questions that if the Mumbai police was prepared for First Lady Michelle Obama’s likely visit to Kamathipura, Dayal said, “I don’t know if she has expressed such a desire, but now if she does, it is too late.”