NEW DELHI: The establishment faced one of the biggest challenges when Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah decided to break protocol and walk along the gun carriage with the mortal remains of . An on-the-spot contingency strategy, hand-picked securitymen and a surprise detour helped (SPG) pass the test.
With all other dignitaries in their vehicles, SPG had to chalk out a strategy to secure the two men — whose threat assessment is categorised as highest — at a very short notice, sources said.
Officials pointed out that SPG may have been prepared for such a contingency given the fact that Modi has breached protocol many times in the past taking the security apparatus by surprise. However, sources confirmed that many details, including the shape and composition of the cordon thrown around the duo and a detour, were decided on the spot.
SPG was reportedly informed at the BJP office at DDU Marg that the PM would like to walk along with Vajpayee’s mortal remains. The sleuths roped in Delhi Police, Armymen and paramilitary personnel to form a wide and barely-visible cordon around while Modi and Shah walked around five kilometres surrounded by thousands of emotionally-charged people.
Select policemen, handpicked by intelligence bureau and SPG, wore white caps and posed as volunteers around the core convoy, while SPG formed the immediate circle. The volunteers formed a human chain around Modi and Shah and allowed only security personnel into the cordoned area. SPG also roped in the Army, Navy and Air Force for the security around Rashtriya Smriti Sthal.
Spotters and sharpshooters quickly took positions along the rooftops of offices located at Bahadurshah Zafar Marg and adjacent areas to keep a hawk-eye vigil on the crowd.
At one point, SPG requested the PM to get on the vehicle for a few minutes near Shahidi Park. The cavalcade then took a small detour and went towards Daryaganj instead of taking right from Dilli Gate. The PM then got off at Daryaganj signal and started walking again.
Delhi Police ensured that commuters faced no inconvenience because of the procession.
Cops kept the traffic moving by opening and closing the roads along the convoy route at regular intervals. They only closed both carriageways on stretches on which the procession moved.
Central Delhi — where Rashtriya Smriti Sthal is located —was divided into five broader regions headed by DCP-rank officers.
The regions were further divided into 12 zones headed by an ACP. The zones were further broken down into 65 sectors each headed by inspectors.
“A total of 14 ACPs, 67 inspectors, 233 upper subordinate staff and 1,084 lower subordinates were deployed in the regions. Apart from Delhi Police personnel, there were nine companies of paramilitary and reserve police forces deployed along the route,” said an official.
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