Tight security in Chennai ahead of PM’s visit

January 7th, 2009 - 2:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghChennai, Jan 7 (IANS) Security has been tightened here amid reports of a threat to top leaders attending the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, the annual diaspora meet organised by the government from Wednesday.”Though most threats are hoaxes, we take all information seriously. While our security measures to protect the VVIPs are foolproof and exhaustive, inconvenience to common public would be minimal,” said Greater Chennai Police Commissioner S. Jangid.

“Traffic blockages would last only a few minutes to allow the VVIPs to pass. Else, people can go about their business as usual. All delegates and members of the press entering the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas event are being subjected to stringent security checks. We are glad to say that all concerned have taken this in their stride,” Jangid added.

The threat sent from Karaikal, a southern enclave of the Puducherry, 300 km south of here, was received by a private airline’s office in the city that is to host many foreign dignitaries as well, police sources said.

Delegates from over 40 countries are scheduled to participate in the event. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will deliver the inaugural address Thursday. President Pratibha Patil will give the valedictory address on Friday.

For the event, organised by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, Government of Tamil Nadu and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), security forces have turned the Chennai Trade Centre into a fortress.

Over 5,000 police personnel have been deployed in the city along with commandos from national security guard and local police personnel.

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