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SPG reviews security arrangements for Rahul’s Odisha visit

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sep 8:

Barely two days ahead of Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi’s two-day visit to Odisha, a 16-member team of the Special Protection Group (SPG) camping in the state is leaving no stones unturned to ramp up the security preparations.

Rahul Gandhi

The members of the SPG team today toured Sambalpur and Bargarh to review the security arrangements in these two western Odisha towns. Given the Maoist menace in both these districts, special attention would be paid to secure his carcade.

“Rahul Gandhi is a SPG protectee.  We are trying to keep a good coordination between both the districts to ramp up security arrangements as required for a SPG protectee. We are also taking special care for the landing and road journey,” Northern Range DIG Prateek Mohanty said.

The Gandhi scion is scheduled to arrive in Odisha on September 10 at the Sambalpur airstrip and travel to Belbahali of Bargarh by road. He will address a farmers rally, hold a padyatra there and meet party workers.

As per the schedule released to media here, he would spend the night in Bargarh or Sambalpur and visit Bhubaneswar on September 11. He has a plan to visit Cuttack Sishu Bhawan with few of the party colleagues on the day, return back to Bhubaneswar to attend an event, meet party colleagues and would leave for Delhi from Bhubaneswar later in the day.

Given the narrow and busy streets around Sishu Bhavan and emotionally charged atmosphere due to the recent infant deaths, Cuttack wing of Commissionerate Police have made special arrangements to avoid any untoward incident.

“We would take special care to manage the crowd. Rest of the arrangements are under preparation and as per the guidelines of SPG manual,” said Cuttack DCP Sanjeev Arora.

Similarly, preparations have started in Utkal Mandap of Bhubaneswar where Rahul is supposed to attend a workshop pertaining to social justice. SPG team today met the Police Commissioner and visisted the venue in Utakla Mandap and Congress Bhavan.

“We had a discussion with the SPG on the security arrangements, route, carcade etc. We have also completed the ASL (advanced security liasoning). We are in constant touch with the party workers to keep a track of the number of workers and their identity,” said Bhubaneswar DCP Satyabrata Bhoi.