''Officer-oriented'' security arrangements for Prez's visit

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Shillong, Oct 17 (UNI) Elaborate security arrangements have been made for President Pratibha Patil's maiden two-day trip to Meghalaya beginning October 22, especially after an e-mail threat sent to the President a few days back.

The state government had asked for three additional central paramilitary forces to assist the state police during the President's visit.

''We are abiding by provisions of security needs and protocol for the President's visit as per the blue book. The security arrangements are primarily officer-oriented,'' Director General of Police B K Dey Sawain told UNI here today.

''The President will be travelling via road on many occasions during her visit here. Therefore, all roads are being secured. The constabulary will be assisted by Commissioners and subordinate officers of the state police, '' he informed.

The death threat sent to the President had also entailed the state police to be extra vigilant, Mr Sawian said, '' We are taking utmost precautionary measures for the visit in the wake of the death threat sent to the President a few days back,'' he added.

Ms Patil will arrive in Shillong on October 22 and proceed to Mawphlang to inaugurate the 3rd phase of the Greater Shillong Water Supply Scheme.

The next day she would visit Tura, Garo Hills, for a public reception and later return to the state capital to attend the centenary celebration of Bengali Girls Higher Secondary School.

The visit by Patil to Garo Hills will be 56 years after late President Rajendra Prasad had visited the area.

Meanwhile, the President's visit had mired in controversy after the inauguration of Baljek airport in West Garo Hills on October 23 was excluded from the President's initial itinerary at the last moment.

Former Lok Sabha Speaker and NCP leader Purno A Sangma had accused the Congress of ''manipulating the President's itinerary.'' However, Congress spokesperson R C Laloo said, ''Sangma should not blame the Congress for the cancellation of airport inauguration.

The inauguration was cancelled because of technical reasons and Sangma's partyman Praful Patel is the Civil Aviation Minister. '' UNI RRK SJC BDP CS1908

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