Tight security for PM’s visit to Bangalore

December 3rd, 2008 - 12:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghBangalore, Dec 3 (IANS) India’s IT hub Bangalore Wednesday turned into a virtual fortress ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s daylong visit following heightened security concerns in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks.The prime minister, who will be visiting the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), flies into Bangalore on a special Indian Air Force (IAF) plane.

He will drive from the Yelahanka Air Force Base on the outskirts of the city to JNCASR at Jakkur where he will dedicate the International Centre for Material Science and the C.N.R. Rao Hall of Science.

Later in the day, Manmohan Singh will inaugurate the IISc centenary conference and unveil the centenary commemoration plaque in the green campus in the presence of eminent scientists and research scholars.

The centenary event will also see a reunion of IISc’s alumni, and interactions with researchers, captains of industry, scientists and engineers.

“We have made foolproof security arrangements for the prime minister’s visit. Additional forces are deployed at the two venues where Manmohan Singh will be present and en-route to prevent any untoward incident,” a police official told IANS.

“Vehicular traffic and movement of people in northern, western and central parts of the city will be affected when the prime minister’s convoy passes through the route to both the venues and Raj Bhavan during lunch hour in between,” he added.

State Director General of Police R. Srikumar reviewed the security arrangements for the prime minister’s visit at a meeting of top police and administrative officials late Tuesday.

“The sprawling campus has been turned into a fortress, with police presence in every nook and corner and the Special Protection Group (SPG) taking over the J.N. Tata auditorium where the event is being organised,” a research student said.

Ironically, the centenary function is being held at the venue where an IIT professor from Delhi was killed and four others were injured in a terror attack on Dec 29, 2005, which shook an otherwise peaceful and safe city.

Though IISc court president Ratan Tata will not be present on the occasion as he is preoccupied with salvage operations at his terror-hit Taj hotel in Mumbai, a host of luminaries and dignitaries will participate in the conference.

Among the distinguished invitees are Rajya Sabha member and former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman K. Kasturirangan, prime minister’s science advisory committee chairman C.N.R. Rao, former IISc directors Govardhan Mehta and G. Padmanabhan, and noted scientists and technocrats in defence, space and academia.

“The centenary celebrations began formally May 27 to commemorate the historic date of the vesting order that led to the establishment of the institute. The celebrations mark 100 illustrious years of leadership in science, technology and innovation,” IISc public relations official V. Thilagam said.

Located in the heart of the city, the 400 acre institute was set up in 1909, with initial endowment from visionary Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata and munificent grant of vast lands by then Mysore Maharajah Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, when Lord Curzon was the viceroy of India under British rule.

Headed by C.N.R. Rao, the JNCASR was set up in 1989 by the union science and technology ministry to mark the birth centenary of Nehru. As a deemed university, the centre awards master’s and PhD degrees. It has a 40-member faculty and 150 graduate students.

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