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G20 Summit: Anti-drone systems, 1,30,000 security officers to guard two-day event

The event will take place in the sprawling, refurbished Pragati Maidan, a convention-cum-exhibition centre in the middle of one of the most populous cities in the world.

Nivedita Dash Edited By: Nivedita Dash @Nivedita0503 New Delhi Updated on: September 07, 2023 12:33 IST
An installation put up near Rajghat in preparation for the
Image Source : PTI An installation put up near Rajghat in preparation for the upcoming G20 Summit

Ensuring a water-tight security arrangement for the G20 summit in New Delhi which is scheduled to be held on September 9 and 10, as many as 130,000 security officers have been deployed on duty who will guard the visiting delegations. The two-day summit, starting September 9, will have the most high-profile guest list India has ever welcomed, from U.S. President Joe Biden to British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Saudi Arabia's Mohammed Bin Salman. However, Chinese President Xi Jinping is likely to skip the meeting.

Leaders from Japan, Australia, France and Germany are also among those expected to attend, although Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is facing criticism from the West for the war in Ukraine, has said he will be represented by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The heads of the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, World Trade Organisation and World Health Organisation will also be present.

The event that will take place in the sprawling, refurbished Pragati Maidan will be guarded by a team under another Delhi Police special commissioner, Ranvir Singh Krishnia. "This is a historic and momentous moment," said Dependra Pathak, a special commissioner of the Delhi Police who is in charge of security arrangements in the city. At least 80,000-strong Delhi Police have also been given the charge of the security arrangements.

During the weekend summit, New Delhi's borders will be closely guarded and access to the city will be regulated, officials said. Within the city of 20 million, the government is planning a partial shutdown during the summit with schools, government departments and businesses being asked to remain closed for three days.India Tv - Traffic Police personnel regulate traffic during rehearsals for smooth passage of traffic for movement of dignitaries near the India Gate ahead of G20 Summit, in New Delhi

Image Source : PTITraffic Police personnel regulate traffic during rehearsals for smooth passage of traffic for movement of dignitaries near the India Gate ahead of G20 Summit, in New Delhi

DEFENCE IN THE SKIES

Not just on ground, but survelliance will also be in the skies. A spokesperson for the Indian Air Force told Reuters that it will "deploy comprehensive measures for integrated aerospace defence in the Delhi and close-by areas." The spokesperson said that the Indian military, including the air force, along with the Delhi Police and paramilitary forces, will deploy anti-drone systems to prevent any aerial threats. About 400 firefighters will also be on call.

Security control rooms are being set up at the venue and special security arrangements have been made at key hotels like the ITC Maurya Hotel, where Biden will stay.

PM Modi inaugurated a $300 million venue in the capital in July to host the summit meeting - a conch shell-shaped building that can seat more than 3,000. The government has also leased 20 bullet-proof limousines at a cost of 180 million Indian rupees ($2.18 million) for ferrying leaders. Many world leaders travel with their own bodyguards and vehicles. India has requested countries to be "rational" about the number of cars and personnel that they bring, but has not put any restrictions, one government official said. The official said the U.S. is bringing in over 20 aircraft over a week-long period around the summit.

(With Reuters inputs)

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