Obama Won’t Visit Chabad Mumbai


mumbaiThe Maharashtra home department has said a firm no to President Barack Obama’s proposed visit to the erstwhile Chabad House — one of the places targeted during the 26/11 attacks.

A senior home department official said, “The US President wanted to visit sites in Mumbai that were attacked by terrorists. But we feel that it would be a great security risk if he goes to Nariman House, which is in a crowded area. We have conveyed this clearly to the US authorities. At the same time, he will visit Hotel Trident and, possibly, CST station, which too were the gumnen’s targets.” Sources in the government said Obama was also likely to visit Mani Bhavan.

Senior police officials said that even the Israel government felt the location was too much of risk. “The Jewish religious centre has now shifted to a building opposite Mantralaya,” a senior official said.

Meanwhile, the US consulate spokesperson did not wish to comment. She said that the president’s schedule was yet to be finalized.

Policemen will be deployed along the slums dotting the flight path from Ghatkopar to the airport to ensure that there is no bursting of crackers. Obama will arrive in the city on November 6 and stay at the Taj Hotel.

“There are several slums which dot the area where flights land. Each year, the senior inspector of Saki Naka police and his staff patrol the stretch and take action against people who light crackers which soar high. Normally, when a VVIP arrives, we deploy policemen in the Jari Mari area of the Kurla-Andheri road. In this case, we have to station our policemen right along the cluster of slums at Ghatkopar and ensure that the locals don’t light rockets or high-flying crackers when Air Force One arrives,” said the police officer.

The home department also plans to cancel the leave of policemen during Diwali in view of the festival bandobast as well as Obama’s visit.

{The Times of India/Matzav.com}