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The Rediff Special/ Sheela Bhatt and R Prema in New Delhi

Bush's security stuns Indians

February 22, 2006

The Indian security establishment is having a harrowing time providing support to the American personnel responsible for United States President George W Bush's security in India.

The Americans make their own arrangements wherever their president travels.

They have a simple dictum: Trust no one.

They transfer tons of equipment, almost-science-fiction technology and highly trained manpower to protect the most powerful man in the world.

Bush's men land in Hyderabad

President Bush arrives on March 1. And yet, as of now, plans of his visit are almost a secret.

Massive security arrangements are being made, keeping in view the threat from Osama bin Laden's terror network.

Even though you would naturally expect the security concerns, the sheer scale, sophistication and budget of it boggles the mind.

Besides Air Force One -- in which the President travels -- more than a dozen aircraft will arrive in New Delhi from the US and different parts of world.

More than 700 personnel -- including American security forces -- are being flown in. Some with Bush, and some even from other countries.

Bush interviews provoke media ire

Three presidential helicopters - which are equipped with cutting edge landing systems that help them operate in near zero visibility - have been flown in by cargo carriers in a disassembled state. They are being put together piece by piece.

Indian security officials were stunned to see the packaging and the sophisticated transportation of the helicopters.

The kind of communication equipment being brought to fit into Bush's vehicle would not look out of place in a Star Wars film.

A special window is being set up at Delhi airport to clear American equipment for the Bush visit. Special permissions are being given for the huge quantities of arms and ammunition being flown in by the American 'advance teams.'

Bush has about eight official engagements scheduled in India. And eight special teams have been constituted to protect Bush - one for each programme.

A closely guarded strategy is being worked out for the landing of the President's aircraft.

A full security drill is likely to take place at the Palam Air Force Base after February 27.

On Monday, February 20, at about 10 am, two senior US embassy security officials visited the Central Hall of the Parliament carrying a sketch of the security arrangements made for Bill Clinton when he addressed a joint session six years ago.

Since the Communist parties have opposed Bush's proposed address to a joint session of Parliament, the Americans didn't spend much time inside Parliament.

So far, there is no confirmation of the American president's speech to Parliament.

Sources said Petroleum Minister Murli Deora has been asked to cajole Communist leaders opposed to the Bush speech.

Also see: Complete coverage: The India-US nuclear tango

The Rediff Specials

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Number of User Comments: 12

Sub: Bush's security stuns Indians

after going through the report i was realy stunned. Well ofcourse the arrangements should be made for the most powerful man of the world to ...

Posted by C. Chhatoi

Sub: Article Does Not Suit Rediff

Dear Editor, Please do not publish articles of the Times of India CATEGORY. Articles about any Presidential (U.S, here) visit to our nation needs to ...

Posted by Aditya

Sub: Bush's security stuns Indians

Uncle Sam is not 'the' superpower for nothing. On another front, the commies would have been falling all over themselves to roll out the 'red' ...

Posted by labrea

Sub: Bush's visit to India

American security has invaded India. I am sure normal life wherever he goes in India will be disturbed and common man will be put into ...

Posted by Shanbhag

Sub: Security for the US President for India Trip

Reading your report,sitting in Chicago land Area was very exciting.thnk you.

Posted by K.P.Natarajan



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