BRICS summit venue turns into fortress
New Delhi, March 28 (IANS) The Taj Palace Hotel in south Delhi where the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa would Thursday attend the BRICS summit has been turned into a virtual fortress with hundreds of security personnel guarding the venue and maintaining vigil on roads leading to it.
Russian President Dimitry Medvedev, Chinese President Hu Jintao, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil and President Jacob Zuma of South Africa will participate in the summit being hosted by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The nearly three-km stretch of the Sardar Patel Marg, on which the hotel is situated, was virtually taken over by the police. Armed personnel stood on both sides of the road, while traffic policemen managed vehicle movements.
At road intersections near the hotel, around 10-15 policemen kept guard to ensure smooth movement of traffic. Cranes were seen parked near Sardar Patel Marg to tow away vehicles in case of breakdowns.
Barricades were put up on arterial roads around the hotel. Policemen and hotel employees guarded the hotel entrances.
Entry to the hotel was restricted and only official vehicles were allowed in.
Several police vans and motorcycles patrolled the roads while a few sniffer dogs along with their handlers checked the area near the hotel.
Police have planned a three-tier security arrangement around the hotel.
High security will also be in place along the routes taken by the cavalcade of the leaders. Sharpshooters of the National Security Guard will be deployed near the Taj Palace Hotel as well as on the high rises on the route of their travel.
The floors above and below the suites where the leaders will be staying have been kept vacant, said an official.
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