Security agencies apprehend that terrorists may target some other part of India during the visit of US President Barack Obama, avoiding Delhi, and have alerted state governments, particularly Jammu and Kashmir, about the “serious threat”.
The agencies apprehend that the terrorists may carry out strikes like the Chittisinghpura massacre in Kashmir on the eve of the visit of the then US President Bill Clinton in 2000.
They have alerted state governments of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh besides Police and Intelligence apparatus of Mumbai and Jammu and Kashmir about the serious terror threat posed during the visit of Obama who is scheduled to start his three days visit from January 25, sources said.
During the India visit of Clinton in March 2000, Lashkar-e-Toiba terror outfit had targeted Chittisinghpura village in Kashmir, killing 36 people.
The intelligence agencies have warned of possibility of similar attack in some part of the country, they said.
Unprecedented security arrangements have been put in place to ensure safe visit of Obama who will be the first US President to be the Chief Guest on Republic Day function with seven layer security cordon prepared for him.
The sources said, in addition to tight security in the national capital, Mumbai Police has also been asked to tighten security around sensitive spots in Mumbai including the Siddhivinayak temple, South Mumbai hot spots like Taj Palace Hotel, Gateway of India and other tourist location.
Similarly, the governments of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jammu and Kashmir have been asked to be on high alert and ensure tight security at vulnerable areas.
The governments have been asked to ensure security of tourist places, places of religious importance and other areas where large public gathering takes place like courts etc.
The national capital will turn into an impregnable fortress with every movement being under the watch of multi-agency control room which will monitor the surveillance operations here.
The security agencies have put the security apparatus of Delhi on the highest alert even though there is no specific intelligence input about a possible terror strike here, officials engaged with the preparations said.
The Indian intelligence agencies, security agencies are working in close coordination with the US Secret Service which guards the US President.
The US Secret Service personnel have carried out detailed survey of the routes to be taken by the Obama and Rajpath where he will be seated along with President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and hosts of other VVIPs to watch the annual parade.
Specialised canine units of Indian Paramilitary forces will be in service along with team of seven Belgian ‘Malinois’ dogs of the US Navy Seals which are accompanying the security personnel of the US.
Known as ‘canine officers’, their breed shot to limelight following Operation Neptune Spear where they sniffed out and helped in the arrest of most wanted terrorist Osama Bin Laden from his safe house in Abbottabad in Pakistan.
These canines have already landed here and deployed to secure the retreat for Obama’s visit–ITC Maurya–along with a dozen canines of the Indo Tibetan Border Police.
Another batch of these canines will be pressed for similar duties at Rajpath, Rashtrapati Bhavan and few other locations.
A comprehensive security ring will be thrown around the VVIP enclosure with elite Special Protection Group and Secret Service personnel forming a part of the close proximity ring, official sources said, adding a radar has been exclusively kept for monitoring air space over the VVIP enclosure.