Barack Obama may not travel in the 'Beast' for Republic Day parade

New Delhi, Jan 19: During his visit to attend India's Republic Day celebrations, US President Barack Obama, along with wife Michelle Obama, is likely to break the protocol by not travelling in his own highly-secured bullet-proof limousine also called the 'Beast'.

Obama may not travel in the 'Beast'
US president is expected to follow India's protocol and arrive with President Mukherjee at Rajpath on the morning of Monday next. If he does that Obama will possibly be the first US President not to travel in the 'Beast'.

A seven-layer security ring is planned around the VVIP enclosure on Rajpath from where Barack Obama, President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will watch the Republic Day parade.

The airspace over the area will be monitored by a radar that is being specially set up, as unprecedented ground-to-air security is put in place to turn the national capital into an fortress during the visit of President Obama, who will be the first American President to be Chief Guest at the Republic Day celebrations on January 26.

Because President Obama will be on an open air platform at Rajpath for more than two hours when he witnesses the parade, there is the possibility that the VVIP enclosure will be put behind a bullet-proof shield, sources have said.

A multi-agency control room will monitor surveillance operations in every area of Delhi which has been put on the highest alert because of the visit of the US President. President Obama will arrive next Sunday, January 25, with his wife Michelle on a three-day visit.

The threat perception is the highest for the event, but there is no specific intelligence input about a possible terror strike, officials involved in the security preparations said on Sunday while giving a broad overview of the security drill.

American Secret Service personnel, who have landed in the capital and Agra, have already conducted a preliminary survey of the routes to be taken by the US President and Rajpath where Obama will be seated along with President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a host of other VVIPs to watch the annual parade.

The elite Special Protection Group and Secret Services personnel will form a part of the "close proximity ring" in the seven tiered protection planned around the VVIP enclosure, official sources said.

Central Security agencies have brought in their Concealed Anti-Terrorists (CAT) squads to the national capital and they will be part of teams that carry out surprise checks at hotels, guest houses and vulnerable localities.

OneIndia News

(With inputs from PTI)

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