For Li’s visit, Chinese embassy, hotel turn into fortresses

New Delhi, May 19 (IANS) The Chinese embassy was Sunday turned into a fortress as Premier Li Keqiang arrived on a state visit while a tight security ring was thrown around the Taj Palace Hotel where he is staying.

Delhi Police have deployed more personnel and shut down certain roads, including those near the Chinese embassy, as a precautionary measure.

All the inner roads leading to the hotel have been barricaded and no one is allowed to enter without special passes.

The Race Course station of the Delhi Metro, which is close to the prime minister’s official residence and the diplomatic area, is to remain shut from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is to hold talks with Li and also host a private dinner for him.

Police officials said Sardar Patel Marg, which connects the Chinese embassy in the diplomatic enclave of New Delhi, to the airport, will remain closed till Sunday night. The road will be opened late at night and shut again Monday morning, said an official.

“Personnel have been deployed around the hotel where the Chinese premier is staying. We have increased deployment around the Chinese embassy,” a Delhi Police official said.

“Nearly 300 police and para-military force officers have been deployed for security,” the police official said.

Police sources added that strict vigil is being maintained around Majnu ka Tila, home to thousands of Tibetans living in exile, to ensure they are unable to carry out their threatened protests against the visit.

Li is visiting India at the invitation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh May 19-21. From India, Li will go to Pakistan, Switzerland and Germany.

On Monday, four Metro stations will be closed in the morning. Race Course, Udyog Bhawan, Central Secretariat and Khan Market Metro stations will be closed from 8 a.m., to 10 a.m. Monday, a Delhi Metro official said.

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