Sunday, November 19, 2017
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Whenever a VVIP is to arrive in the city, traffic curbs are imposed on the route that the leader’s motorcade is to take. Such precautions are very essential and there should be no relaxation in the security arrangements. One can understand the justification of the tight security  when the President arrives in the city.

Once when Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma  as President visited the city, he   inaugurated a function through remote control as he was advised against personally visiting the spot owing to security reasons. Once when he was in town and was to pass through Hastings Road, the  traffic on Thornhill Road was not being allowed to cross the Hastings road even for those who wished to go towards the radio station and were not headed for the Circuit House, I was to make a broadcast from AIR Allahabad at 1.30pm. It was nearly 1pm. The cops halted me and said they would not allow come what may. But then a senior cop came. When I told him that I was going for a live broadcast he promptly allowed me to go. This means that if senior cops are there, they don’t stick to rule in case of an emergency. How can a cop stop an ambulance carrying patients in critical condition to hospital  via the banned  crossing? Some rules must be there. But the point is: Do the cops at the grassroots level know about these rules?
Today even a Minister is barricaded against risk. I recall the days when Pandit Nehru would come to Allahabad as Prime Minister and was almost unescorted. At least  traffic curbs of today were not there. If at all the cops were alert , that period lasted for hardly a few seconds. I distinctly remember whenever Nehru would fly down to Allahabad and drive from Bamrauli to Anand Bhavan via the Kanpur Road, I would stand at the crossing of Lohia Marg and Kanpur Road just to catch a glimpse. Nehru would be all smiles, standing in his open car. People would throw garlands at him. He would acknowledge them and then throw them back at the public. Just recall those days when President Rajendra Prasad would go in an open buggy (horse-driven carriage)through Delhi roads on Republic Day!  Now Arvind Kejriwal has said he needs no security. He has refused official bungalow and body guards but has assured that in case needed, he will ask for security. There may be occasions when he may not need them personally but he will have to invite them  for the visiting guests he would receive as Chief Minister. The VIP guests, especially foreign dignitaries, cannot be allowed to face  security risks. 

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