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Security beefed up in Delhi for Xi visit


New Delhi, Sep 17 :

Security has been beefed up in the national capital ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s official visit, with the police cordoning off certain areas keeping in mind demonstrations by the Tibetan community.

At least four companies of the Rapid Action Force (RAF), with around 400 armed personnel, have been deployed outside the Chinese embassy at the Chanakyapuri diplomatic enclave.

Xi Jinping, Chinese President
Xi Jinping, Chinese President

“Following an order from the home ministry, four RAF companies were deployed outside the Chinese embassy today (Wednesday). The RAF will be in place till Thursday,” a Delhi Police officer told IANS requesting anonymity.

More security personnel have been deployed in the Lutyens zone area where the Chinese president’s movement will be the most.

Policemen, including paramilitary personnel, will be stationed at every intersection of the road during the president’s movement.

“We have made elaborate arrangements in the New Delhi district area. Security has been tightened,” Joint Commissioner of Police M.K. Meena told IANS.

Two RAF companies along with Delhi Police officers will stand guard at the Taj Palace hotel, where the Chinese president will stay after he arrives in Delhi around 9.20 p.m. Wednesday.

Another company of the paramilitary force and police officers will be deputed at all locations to be visited by Xi.

Teams of commandos will escort the visiting president’s convoy from the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport to the Taj Palace hotel.

Xi will be visiting at least 10 places in Delhi in the coming two days.

The Indian Tricolour and Chinese flags have been placed at several intersections.

To discourage protests by Tibetans living in the city, police personnel in large numbers have been deployed at many places, especially at Majnu-Ka-Tilla, which has a sizeable Tibetan population.

“We have received orders to keep a close watch on the movement of Tibetan people and not to let any protester head towards the Chinese embassy,” the officer said.

According to police, Section 144 of the Indian Penal Code that bans the assembly of moe than four people will be imposed around Majnu-Ka-Tilla if needed. Police are also in contact with Tibetan leaders.

At least 10 Tibetan emigres were detained outside the Chinese embassy Wednesday for staging a protest against Xi’s visit.

The protesters, carrying Tibetan flags, staged demonstrations outside the embassy around 11.30 a.m., demanding freedom for Tibet from China.

Xi, who is on a three-day official visit to India, arrived in Ahmedabad earlier in the afternoon and was received by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.