G20 Summit: Delhi all set to welcome world leaders; capital under tight security blanket

US President Joe Biden has left for India and will arrive on Friday evening

G20 A G20 themed installation at the Delhi Gate, ahead of the G20 Summit | PTI

The national capital has been decked up to welcome world leaders with just the day left for the G20 Summit to begin. The gathering will see 30 heads of state, including US President Joe Biden, and top officials from the European Union and the guest countries. Over 14 heads of international organisations have also been invited for the two-day summit which begins on Saturday.

US President Joe Biden has left for India and will arrive on Friday evening, after which he will hold a bilateral talk with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "We're grateful for Prime Minister Modi's leadership during India's presidency of the G20, and the President is certainly looking forward to his bilateral meeting with the prime minister shortly after his arrival in New Delhi," the White House said.

Besides Biden, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, French President Emmanuel Macron, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva are among the G20 leaders who have already confirmed their participation in the summit. 

Some of the world leaders, including Argentina President Alberto Fernández, have arrived in Delhi.

Security cover 

There is a tight security cover in Delhi ahead of the Summit with police, paramilitary forces and other agencies maintaining a hawk-eye vigil in the city. 

There is an extensive checking of vehicles in border areas besides the deployment of markswomen and armed forces at strategic locations. Over 50,000 security personnel, K9 dog squads and mounted police are roaming the city. "From the airport to hotels and from hotels to the G20 summit venues, foreign delegates will be provided foolproof security by the Delhi Police during the prestigious summit," a senior official told PTI.

Besides the police, the Indian Air Force, National Security Guard and some of the Central Armed Police Forces are also on their toes to ensure foolproof security. "Picket checking has been increased in the area and communication is being established with locals to give them a sense of confidence. The areas near Yamuna Khadar are being checked regularly. Mounted morchas have also been pressed into service".

PTI09_07_2023_000153B A road near Le Meridien Hotel is seen barricaded ahead of the G20 Summit, in New Delhi | PTI

"Checking in the border areas has been intensified. Extra pickets are being installed along the borders. Drones are also being used for surveillance. Regular communication is being held with RWA (Residents' Welfare Associations), MWAs (Market Welfare Associations) and Aman Committee members," an official said.

Nineteen markswomen, who have completed a four-week specialised training session conducted by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) at its training centre in Karera, Madhya Pradesh, are also being deployed during the summit.

Officials are also keeping an eye out for protestors considering that many previous summits saw law and order situations due to protests by international pressure groups and local organisations. Analysing past protests, the officials will use chains and bolt cutters to tackle unwanted and unscheduled agitations. These will come into the picture if protesters tie themselves with chains so that they cannot be removed, the officials said.


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