Hasina's India visit awaits beefed up security
A multi-layer security system will be in place in and around Maurya Sheraton Hotel in New Delhi where Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will stay during her three-day state visit to India.
Hasina, who will be on her first visit to India since assuming power in January 2009, is due to reach the Indian capital Sunday evening.
She will be staying at the same suite where world leaders had stayed during their trips to India. Generally reserved for high-profile VVIPs, the Chandra Gupta Maurya suite is considered the best from the security standpoint. Former US presidents Bill Clinton and George W Bush too had stayed there. Former prime minister Khaleda Zia also stayed at the same suite during her state visit to India in March, 2006.
Highly placed sources said beefed up security measures will be in place for the Bangladesh prime minister following security threat that resulted in the cancellation of her trip to Visva Bharati Universality at Santiniketan in West Bengal as well as her meetings with former West Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu and incumbent chief minister Buddhadev Bhattacharya on January 13.
Officials, however, said the prime minister dropped the West Bengal visit from her schedule, as she would be busy at home afterwards.
According to our New Delhi correspondent, two separate teams of special security personnel from Bangladesh have already been to India to survey the security arrangements for Sheikh Hasina and her entourage.
The security agencies of Bangladesh and India are coordinating and consulting with each other.
Another team of security personnel is expected to leave for New Delhi a couple of days ahead of the prime minister's departure.
Apart from the commandos of Delhi police, Indian elite National Security Guard (NSG) and Bangladesh's Special Security Force (SSF) will be deployed inside and outside the Maurya Sheraton Hotel.
Delhi police will be around the hotel while SSF and NSG will be in charge of security of the hotel floors. The venues of the other programmes of Sheikh Hasina in New Delhi will also have beefed-up security measures, official sources said.
Hasina's visit will formally begin with a ceremonial reception at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhaban. She will be given a 21-gun salute and a guard of honour in the forecourt of the official residence of the Indian president. Horse-mounted Indian Presidential Guards will be escorting her at that time.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will receive Sheikh Hasina at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhaban on January 11 morning.
Elaborate security arrangements have been made for her visit to Rajghat where she will pay homage to India's Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi after the reception programme at Rashtrapati Bhaban.
She will have a meeting with Manmohan Singh at the Hyderabad House in the afternoon. Manmohan Singh will host a state banquet in her honour January 11 evening.
She is likely to visit Ajmer Sharif in Rajasthan on January 12 and offer fateha at the mazar of Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti (RH).
The prime minister is expected to return home on January 13.