Tight security for Medvedev during visit

December 5th, 2008 - 2:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghNew Delhi, Dec 5 (IANS) Security arrangements were at their “highest” at the Maurya Sheraton hotel Friday where Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is staying, with secret agents going through lists of all hotel staff and guests, officials said. Medvedev, who arrived Thursday evening, is the first foreign head of state to visit India since last week’s deadly terror attacks in Mumbai and even the entry of guests at the hotel is being strictly monitored.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice who visited India Wednesday chose not to stay at the Maurya this time around and was staying at the US Ambassador David Mulford’s residence during her daylong trip.

According to senior officials overseeing the security arrangements, two petrol pumps near Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s residence at 7, Race Course Road were shut down for a few hours when President Medvedev came for a private dinner Thursday.

“We wanted to be extra careful because of threats and the general security environment. The police was asked to close the pumps and a tight security cover ringed the area,” said one official.

In his three-day visit to India, Medvedev is expected to give all support to New Delhi in its fight against terror and sign a nuclear deal.

Russia is expected to agree to build four reactors to generate energy in southern India and the two sides will also discuss defence cooperation during the visit.

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