G20 Summit: 450 CRPF drivers to pilot left-hand driven, bullet-proof cars
The vehicles specially pooled in to carry the VVIPs are left-handed and the CRPF VIP security wing has undertaken a special training to drive these cars
In order to provide visiting foreign dignitaries participating in the G20 Leaders' Summit in Delhi next week a safe journey from the venue to their hotels, the Centre has trained as many as 450 drivers of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF)'s VIP security wing to pilot the special left-hand driven and bullet-proof vehicles that will be used to ferry the dignitaries, official sources said.
A fleet of both bullet-proof and non bullet-proof Audi, Mercedes, BMW and Hyundai Genesis cars have been hired or purchased by the Union government to ferry 41 top foreign guests.
These specially-trained drivers will take the premiers and leaders to their destinations in the national capital, like the main meeting venue of 'Bharat Mandapam' and the five-star hotels where the dignitaries will stay, they said.
The CRPF is the country's largest paramilitary force with over 3.25 lakh personnel in its ranks deployed for a variety of internal security duties. Its special VIP security wing with a strength of over 6,000 personnel guards 149 high-risk persons including Union Home Minister Amit Shah, former prime minister Manmohan Singh and the Gandhis – Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
The force has deployed a total of 900 personnel, including the 450 drivers, for providing proximate security to the VIPs during the two days of the G20 Summit on September 9–10 and the one preceding day of September 8 when the heads of various nations will start arriving in the national capital.
This special G20 pool of the CRPF includes personnel who have earlier served in the Special Protection Group (SPG) that protects the prime minister and the counter-terrorist force National Security Guard (NSG).
Official sources said the spouses of the dignitaries will be guarded by the specially-trained men and women commandos of Sashastra Seema Bal, another paramilitary force.
As more than 60 vehicles have been specially pooled in to carry the VVIPs are left-handed, the CRPF VIP security wing has undertaken a special training to skill drivers for these cars as India has right-hand drive protocol, the sources said.
The force got some left-hand driven cars from Germany to train these personnel for about a month apart from skilling them to drive the bulky bullet-proof luxury cars.
The Border Security Force has been tasked with providing the "contingency" carcade for the G20 Leaders' Summit, the sources said.
Other central armed police forces like the Indo-Tibetan Border Police and the Central Industrial Security Force apart from the 'black cat' commandos of the NSG have been deployed for securing the routes and venues of the summit in coordination with Delhi Police, they said.
These forces have also deployed sniffer canines supported anti-sabotage teams for the mega international event with the CRPF alone providing 48 such teams.
(With inputs from agencies)