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This article was first published 13 years ago

Maurya, Humayun await Obamas

Last updated on: November 7, 2010 15:14 IST

Image: Indo-US flags flutter outside Maurya Hotel
Photographs: Reuters Sahim Salim in New Delhi

The roads leading to ITC Maurya Sheraton in New Delhi are lined with men-in-khakhi and police cars. 

In few moments, this route -- National Highway 8, Dhaula Kuan and Sardar Patel Marg -- will be sealed off on either side for US president Barack Obama's cavalcade.

The sprawling hotel complex itself has completely been sealed off.

American security agencies, including the secret service and Federal Bureau of Investigations, have taken over the hotel. Indian security personnel have been stationed all around the hotel complex, with sharp shooters and snipers keeping vigil from rooftops.


Obamas and other dignitaries are in for a treat

Image: A hotel security guard stops the media outside the Hotel Maurya Sheraton
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

"This road (outside the hotel) also will be sealed off half an hour before the cavalcade arrives here. No private vehicles will be allowed to pass as long as the president will stay here. Policemen have been stationed at appropriate entry points to the road to divert traffic," a police official on duty near the hotel told

Two floodlights have been erected just outside the ridge area opposite the hotel.

The Obamas and other dignitaries are in for a treat, for the green expanse will be lit up during the evening, which will be the view for the President from his window in the hotel.

Private security guards look straight out of a sci-fi flick

Image: Security personnel stop the media outside the American Centre in New Delhi
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

"The floodlights will light up the ridge area, which is a visual treat. Other than that, it will also be a security aid, as we can make sure no untoward elements are hiding in the thick expanse. It will also deter animals -- monkeys, dogs etc from straying onto the route," a police officer explained.

Even the private security guards manning the hotel gates look straight out of a sci-fi flick. Smartly dressed in their blue and white uniforms, they are armed with a sophisticated RDX detector, which will search every vehicle passing through the gates for explosives.

Scores of policemen have also been posted outside the 16th century Humayun's Tomb, which the Obamas are expected to visit later today. A peep into the complex invites the attention from cops posted there.

All is quiet at Humayun's tomb

Image: Security personnel keep watch inside the lawns of Humayun's Tomb
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

Sweepers and gardeners were seen giving final touches to the sprawling grass garden inside.

"The tomb has been declared out of bounds for general public today. Even the security guards here have been asked to stay home," a police official posted there said.

The busy intersection outside the garden tomb will be sealed off when the cavalcade will be escorted inside. The dignitaries are expected to stay inside the complex for about half an hour. Armed Delhi Police and paramilitary personnel will guard the complex from all sides during the visit.

In addition to the approximate 500 US security personnel in Delhi, Delhi police have stationed about 2000 of its force for the VVIP security.