Police leave no room for error, secure entire route

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An "unprecedented" security arrangement was in place as the body of the 23-year-old gangrape victim arrived at the Palam Airbase in Delhi early morning on Sunday. The paramedic student died at Mount Elizabeth hospital in Singapore — the death was announced at 2.15 IST on Saturday.

Senior police officers, including those in the rank of Joint Commissioner of Police, were present at the airport. At least 500 security personnel stood guard, along with hundreds from paramilitary forces — including Rapid Action Force, Border Security Force and Central Industrial Security Force.

The security seemed necessary as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi arrived at the airport to receive the body. However, senior police officers said they were told about Prime Minister's visit only at the last minute. Police said they were told not to place any security personnel on PM's route.

At Palam Airbase, a three-tier security cordon was in place at least 60 barricades were put up. At least 20 PCR vans followed the ambulance carrying the body from the airbase to her house. An ambulance from Medanta hospital accompanied the entourage and was followed by police and RAF personnel on board 10 to 15 DTC buses.

The cortege proceeded to the victim's house where, too, police had ensured heavy security, turning the entire lane into a fortress. At the entrance to the lane, at least 100 RAF personnel were deployed. Inside, at every lane, police ensured the presence of security personnel in riot gear at every five metres. All lanes leading to the house were heavily barricaded with a three-tier security cordon.

The operation was managed by the South and Southwest district police.

DCP (South) Chhaya Sharma, who was present throughout the operation, said the security presence was decided upon with specific intelligence inputs and profiling of the village where the woman's body was taken, to avoid any untoward incident or protests.

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