Security ramped up in Nepal ahead of fourth Bimstec Summit
Following an assessment of security threats, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina will be provided “Z-plus” security cover, a senior home ministry official said.Updated: Aug 29, 2018 22:15 IST
Nepal has put in place an extensive security blanket in its capital Kathmandu ahead of the fourth Bimstec Summit that begins on Thursday, deploying more 10,000 security personnel led by army soldiers.
Following an assessment of security threats, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina will be provided “Z-plus” security cover, a senior home ministry official said.
Another top official said the security assessment had included threats to the heads of state and government from Islamist militants, Rohingya groups and the LTTE of Sri Lanka.
The Nepal Army will lead the overall security deployments for the visiting dignitaries and at vital installations, and it will be supported by Nepal Police, Armed Police Force and the National Investigation Department. Army commandos have been mobilised to protect the heads of state and government during the two-day summit.
Separate security arrangements have been put in place for delegation members, including spouses and relatives of VIPs, foreign ministers and foreign secretaries.
According to local media reports, a team from India’s Special Protection Group (SPG) will accompany Modi throughout his stay in Kathmandu. The 27-member SPG team will provide round-the-clock security to him. A dozen SPG personnel arrived in Kathmandu some time ago and the rest will accompany Modi on Thursday.
Two bullet-proof vehicles have arrived from New Delhi to be used by Modi, officials said.
Nepalese security officials are keeping a close watch on Rohingya refugees living in Kathmandu. Nepal hosts around 400 Rohinghya refugees who live in various parts of the capital. Officials said they feared the refugees could organise a protest against leaders from Bangladesh and Myanmar.
“So we are keeping our eyes open for such activities among these refugees that may become an irritant during the summit, especially if they come out on the streets and protest against the leaders of Myanmar and Bangladesh,” said an official.
The Bangladeshi premier will be protected by special forces from her country and a Nepalese security team, said officials. “The Sri Lankan President might be at threat from the LTTE,” a security official who did not want to be named said.
Hundreds of security personnel have been deployed in the streets of Kathmandu and the road leading from Tribhuvan International Airport to Hotel Soaltee, where the visiting dignitaries will stay.
Kathmandu has also been beautified with several large welcome gates on the route from the airport to the hotel that feature images of leaders of Bimstec states.
First Published: Aug 29, 2018 22:13 IST