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Obama’s Agra visit: US wants eateries shut, emergency exit routes

Ahead of Barack Obama’s visit to India for Republic Day celebrations, the United States has demanded that all restaurants and hotels on the Delhi-Agra highway should be closed to ensure full-proof security for the world’s most powerful man.

At a meeting on Friday morning between an advance liaison team of the US secret service and Indian security agents, American officials raised concern that terrorists might target the Delhi-Agra Highway which President Obama will take to travel to the Taj city.

As per sources, US agents have expressed concern that restaurants and hotels, which fall en route to Agra, might be targeted by terrorists.

Due to this, American officials want these facilities to be completely sanitised and shut at least one day prior to January 27, when Obama will go to Agra to visit Taj Mahal along with his wife Michelle Obama.

US secret service agents have also asked their Indian counterparts to prepare emergency exit routes and dummy routes for President Obama’s entourage.

Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi, meanwhile, today chaired an inter-state co-ordination meeting along with police officials from Ghaziabad, Noida, Sonipat, Gurgaon, Jhajjar and other nearby areas over security for President Obama’s visit.

Police officials have been instructed to sanitise border areas and keep an eye on known criminals.

Explaining the scale of security taken for Obama when he is abroad, a security official had earlier said that six planes load of equipment, vehicles, oil tankers, choppers and 1600 American personnel were air dashed to Myanmar in November last year when the US President had attended the East Asia Summit there.

Even the fuel used by the US President’s cavalcade was brought by an American Navy ship to a port in Myanmar from where it was transported to capital Nay Pyi Taw through a US oil tanker with full security.

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