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1,600 cops on vigil for Trudeau’s visit to Amritsar

SGPC security on toes too to keep radical elements away as Canadian PM, family pay obeisance at Golden Temple today.

punjab Updated: Feb 21, 2018 09:33 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Amritsar
Trudeau in Amritsar,Trudeau in Punjab,Trudeua in India
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is scheduled to pay obeisance at the Golden Temple along with his family after landing at Sri Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport around 10:30am.(AFP)

Amritsar police commissioner SS Srivastava is leading a team of 1,600 cops keeping vigil ahead of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit to the holy city on Wednesday.

Trudeau is scheduled to pay obeisance at the Golden Temple along with his family after landing at Sri Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport around 10:30am. He will also meet Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh after visiting Partition Museum and fly to Delhi around 1:15pm.

Canadian defence minister Harjit Singh Sajjan and three other Canadian federal ministers of Punjab origin are travelling with Trudeau during the eight-day visit.

The whole city turned into a police cantonment on Tuesday with Punjab special security group (SSG) personnel and commandos adding to the local police strength. Punjab director general of police (DGP, intelligence) is overseeing the arrangements from Chandigarh.

Two deputy inspector generals, eight senior superintendents of police, 10 superintendent of police (SPs) and 15 deputy superintendents of police from Amritsar city, rural and adjoining districts are leading various teams. Heavy police force has been deployed on the 13km stretch from the airport to Golden Temple.

Deputy commissioner Kamaldeep Singh Sangha said the general public, including tourists, would not face any difficulty due to the Canadian PM’s visit.

“We are not blocking any route in Amritsar, keeping in view the heavy footfall of tourists and devotees,” said additional deputy commissioner of police (ADCP, headquarters and security) Charanjit Singh.

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has also deployed its volunteers at the Golden Temple to keep an eye on any radical elements that may seek to rake up the Khalistan issue.

SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal held a series of meetings to discuss the preparations being made for Trudeau’s welcome and also issued dress code instructions for its officials and members of SGPC’s internal security task force.

The SGPC has arranged a specially crafted 24-karat gold-plated portrait of the shrine and a gold-plated ‘Sri Sahib’ (a small six-inch sword) to be presented to Trudeau along with a ‘siropa’ (robe of honour) and a shawl. His wife would be presented a woollen shawl and a set of religious books.

In a press release, Longowal appealed to the Sikh ‘sangat’ to help them honour Trudeau so that he takes back a positive message.

(With agency inputs)

First Published: Feb 21, 2018 09:30 IST