45,000 Delhi Police, central forces personnel, blue safari suits in G20 security plan
Delhi Police and central forces personnel, clad in blue instead of traditional khaki, will guard the heart of Delhi during the G20 Summit.
One of India’s most protected neighbourhoods, the heart of Delhi which is the seat of power for the world’s largest democracy, will be guarded by 45,000 Delhi Police and central forces personnel who will be clad not in the khaki that has been the symbol of police in India, but in blue, officials said on Friday.
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Detailing the elaborate security setups as the city hosts heads of States and senior leaders from 29 nations, officials said that the plan for the G20 Summit, months in the making, involves reinforcements from paramilitary forces and elite National Security Guard (NSG), and training in sophisticated tactics of fighting terrorists, protecting VVIPs and rescuing people.
Among the 45,000 are also commandoes who can rappel down helicopters and those who will act as personal security officers with precision driving skills, helping India fulfil the duty of protecting its guests. Bringing them all together will be two control rooms fed by streams of CCTV footage from across the city, especially the heart that is the New Delhi district.
“Nearly half of the personnel, who have been dedicatedly deployed for security during G20 Summit, have been provided role-based micro-level training to handle any eventuality. Since the manpower available with the Delhi Police is not sufficient to cater such a big event, we have been provided additional staff from the specialised agencies like Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) and the National Security Guard. All the staff have been made aware of their duties. This has been done through carcade rehearsals, point-wise briefing,” said special commissioner of police (security) Madhup Tiwari.
And through the three days, the police will be clad in blue. “Officers of the rank of additional deputy commissioner of police and above will wear blue suits, while others will have safari suits in the same colour. They have been provided the clothes, to get it stitched in prescribed unified designs,” said a senior officer, asking not to be named.
At the briefing, Tiwari explained the Summit responsibilities have been sliced up into seven domains and zones. “It includes the airport, the venues of events, the places of stay of foreign dignitaries, Rajghat, traffic, motorcade management, anti-terror measures and law and order. Each of these will be headed by a venue commander – who will be a special commissioner rank officer,” said Tiwari.
At all hotels, a dedicated deputy commissioner of police will be deployed to serve as camp commander. “These camp commanders will keep a constant vigil on the safety and security in and around the hotels,” Tiwari said, adding that the exact number of hotels is yet to be finalised.
The special commissioner said the entire Capital will be put on high alert, and not just the New Delhi district which, along with some adjacent areas, will be turned into controlled zones that only residents, essential service workers, and Summit-related individuals, will be allowed to enter. “But all arrangements have been made to ensure that the common people are not inconvenienced,” he added.
In a demonstration of some of the skills that the cops have been equipped with, police demonstrated its personnel rappelling down choppers so that they can be quickly redeployed to any part of the city.
Sunil Kumar Gautam, the special commissioner of police (training), said that, in all, 181 Delhi Police personnel undertook the helicopter field tactics drill training that was conducted using a Border Security Force MI-17 IV Helicopter in Delhi. “The training was essential to enhance the preparedness of law enforcement ahead of the G20 Summit and was carried out under the guidance of Border Security Force Air-Wing and Commando Trainers from Delhi Police Academy. Slithering down from a helicopter is an exceptionally perilous procedure, posing significant risks not only to the pilot but also to the individual descending from the airborne chopper as that person subjected to powerful rotor-generated wind gusts,” he said.
“However, it plays a critical role for highly trained personnel to reach the ground level or a designated point during scenarios such as a terrorist attack or during emergencies in rugged terrain where traditional transportation methods are impractical,” he added.
Police have also been trained in precision driving on imported bulletproof sedans, most of which are left-hand drive, as HT reported last week. “These vehicles will reach India before the Summit. Delhi Police have already provided training to the drivers from CAPF, so that they can drive these vehicles for guests if they do not come with their drivers,” said a second Delhi Police officer, asking not to be named.
The Delhi Police has also made two control rooms, to monitor all the CCTV footage – one each at police headquarters and Bharat Mandapam. According to the first Delhi Police officer, Union home secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla on Friday visited both control rooms and took stock of their functioning.