At G20 Summit, secret codes to be used for dignitaries
An IB official said that the security codes for the dignitaries will be suffixed by the abbreviation of their respective countries
Visiting dignitaries for the G20 Summit will be referred to by secret codes in accordance with a common practice used in all international summits, Intelligence Bureau (IB) officials aware of matter said on Tuesday, adding that heads of States will be called “principals”, while their ministers will be known as “essentials”.
An IB official said that the security codes for the dignitaries will be suffixed by the abbreviation of their respective countries.
“For example, the French president will be known as ‘principal FR’ or the Chinese finance minister will be known as ‘essential CHN’. Every country will also be assisted by three liaison officers (LOs). The LO-1 will be with the principals, while LO-2 and LO-3 will be with the essentials and family members respectively. All the LOs, mostly the officials from Indian Foreign Services (IFS), have been selected by the ministry of external affairs (MEA). They have also undergone specific training for this purpose,” the official said, asking not to be named.
He said apart from LOs, IB will have its own chief security liaison officers (CSLOs). “We have dedicated one CSLO to each country, who will liaison with that country’s security wing.”
A senior Delhi Police officer said G20 provides a potentially attractive target for various terrorists and other inimical elements harbouring hostile intents against the country.
“The presence of several heads of States, and high-risk dignitaries for a considerable period in the Capital during this Summit, and wide media coverage further enhances its security vulnerability. Also, misuse of social media and deep fake technology, targeted ‘spear phishing’, data theft, ransomware, malware operations and brute force attack are some of the perceived cyber threat vectors in this regard. Delhi Police is ready to tackle these challenges,” the officer said, asking not to be named.
A second IB official said that as per stipulated lines of protocol drafted before the Summit, it has been decided that no foreign security agencies will be allowed to enter Bharat Mandapam — the event’s main site — or Rajghat with weapons. “Any overlap in security layers of the dignitaries may pose a challenge to our security system. We are sure that our security system is one of the best in the world. So, they have been asked to keep their arms either in the lockers of their hotels or at the main venue,” he said, asking not to be named.
Citing the example of the recent Brics Summit in South Africa, where China’s President Xi Jinping entered the venue hall alone after his aide was stopped by South African security officials, the official said it is a practice adopted by all countries. “For Rajghat, we’ve never allowed anyone to enter the premises with weapons as it is a memorial of non-violence,” he said.