Chidambaram says full security in place for Obama

Chennai, Nov 6 (ANI): Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram has said that tight security is in place for U.S. President Barack Obama who arrived in Mumbai on a high profile four-day visit on Saturday.

"Full security is in place," he told reporters after calling on Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi in Chennai.

On bilateral relations between the two countries, Chidambaram said ties were normal between the two countries, and only after talks, could one tell whether relations would be strengthened further.

An unprecedented ground-to-air security apparatus has been put in place for Obama's visit in New Delhi from Sunday evening.

Hundreds of snipers will keep a watch from rooftops on the routes the President will be taking. Aerial surveillance will also be maintained.

The ITC Maurya Sheraton, where the Obama's are staying has been declared out of bounds for the public. Indian and US security agencies have taken the building over.

Around 2,000 police and paramilitary personnel will be deployed in and around the hotel.

Proximity security to Obama will be given by his guards while the other cordons will be manned by personnel from the Delhi Police and paramilitary forces, as also the elite National Security Guards (NSG).

He will arrive at the Delhi airport at 3:35 p.m., from where he will directly go to visit the Tomb and the Roosvelt House-the US ambassador's residence.

He will have a 'private dinner' with Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh at his official residence, in which about 25 VIPs, including Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi, will exchange views as they savour delicacies.

Obama will have a hectic day in the capital on November 8 when he will take part in all formal engagements that starts with a ceremonial guard of honour at Rashtrapati Bhavan at 9:45 am followed by a visit to Rajghat.

From there, he will head to the Hyderabad House, where at 11 a.m., he and Dr. Singh will address 10 top CEOs of the two countries. This will be followed by delegation-level talks and a joint press conference by the two leaders.

From 3:30 pm, Obama will meet Vice President Hamid Ansari, Lok Sabha Opposition leader Sushma Swaraj and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi for 20 minutes each at the Hotel Mauyra Sheraton where he will be camping.

After this, Obama will address Members of Parliament at 5 p.m. and attended a state dinner hosted by President Pratibha Devisingh Patil. (ANI)

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