New Delhi: Delhi Police on Friday were in the dark about Prime Minister Narendra Modi's plan to visit the airport to receive Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and he travelled with no route restrictions in place. Police said all security concerns were adequately addressed after they learnt about his airport visit.
The Prime Minister's airport drive, without keeping the police in the loop, was apparently intentioned at not hindering normal traffic movement on the city roads or to cause inconvenience to people, a headache during VVIP movements.
Delhi Police Public Relation Officer (PRO) Madhur Verma told IANS: "After we learnt about Prime Minister Narendra Modi travelling from his 7, Lok Kalyan Marg official residence to Delhi's Palam Air Force station in normal traffic and with no route restrictions in place, all security concern were adequately addressed."
Verma said "We were not informed about the VVIP movement in advance." The police is responsible for the security of VVIP movement in the national capital.
"Generally, we are informed about any VVIP movement in advance, and accordingly route restrictions are put in place for security purpose," Special Commissioner of Police Dependra Pathak told IANS.
Heavy security is deployed on the possible routes to be taken by convoys of the Prime Minister and other VVIPs. The by-road surface distance route from the Prime Minister's house to Palam Air Force station is about 13 km and passes via Teen Murti Marg, Shantipath and Satya Marg.
Due to increasing threat from terrorists, two routes with two cavalcades simultaneously are earmarked for his road travel, said sources. The decision on which route the Prime Minister's cavalcade takes is finalised at the last moment.
"Traffic is stopped on both routes. One route is taken by the Prime Minister and on the second a dummy cavalcade travels. His security is handled by the Special Protection Group from close range," a source said.
The number of vehicles, including jammers, bullet proof cars, ambulances, is not revealed. VVIP movements usually cause huge traffic snarls, putting commoners to hardships.
But on Friday, it was not the case as Modi's cavalcade moved normally without stopping traffic on the roads.
At the airport, the Prime Minister welcomed Hasina, who is on four-day visit to India from Friday, with a bouquet as she alighted from the aircraft.