In New Delhi: The much awaited G20 conference came to a successful conclusion without any major hiccups. Behind the scenes, there were a number of difficulties, such as security lapses and handling unanticipated demands from foreign dignitaries.
Law enforcement officials spent a month-long period of intensive training and rigorous planning to guarantee the smooth implementation of this significant event.
The police used code names for the hotels housing foreign heads of state to preserve extreme secrecy around the proceedings.
During the most recent G20 meeting, top officials’ long-standing use of code naming was important in protecting the whereabouts of those who needed the highest degree of security.
Secret code names were allocated to the hotels hosting foreign visitors during a combined conference of top officials from the Delhi Police and the Special Protection Group (SPG), the elite commando group in charge of the Indian Prime Minister’s security.
During this meeting, the security personnel who were travelling with the foreign delegates were also informed.
For instance, the ITC Maurya hotel, where US Vice President Joe Biden was staying, was slang for “Pandora.”
The residence of British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was given the codename “Samara,” while the UAE Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan slept at the Taj Mahal Hotel on Mansingh Road in Lutyens’ Delhi, which was given the codename “Paramount.”
Similar to the others, Le Meridien was given the codename “Mahabodhi,” while Rajghat and Pragati Maidan were given the codenames “Rudrapur” and “Niketan,” respectively.
There were a few security lapses at the G20 Summit in spite of the strict confidentiality regulations and security standards implemented by top Delhi Police personnel.
A vehicle from the US President’s convoy once arrived at the Taj Palace Hotel without warning, resulting in a security breach.
After being questioned, the driver admitted that, contrary to the initial plan, he had been directed to take a businessman from the Lodhi Estate neighbourhood to the Taj Hotel. The driver was eventually freed, but not before being taken out of the US President’s motorcade.
Concerns were raised in a different event when a visitor from Saudi Arabia approached the UAE Crown Prince at the Taj Mahal Palace in Delhi. The man, a police officer from Saudi Arabia, was originally interrogated by the UAE President’s security team after asking for help for his sick brother.
He was then taken into custody by the Delhi Police and interrogated in-depth during which he revealed his lack of acquaintance with security procedures. The person was eventually freed after receiving a warning.
The Taj Mahal and the Jama Masjid in north Delhi were among the “unscheduled requests” made by international dignitaries during the summit, according to sources inside the Delhi Police.