Hyderabad: Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, who has been invited for the dinner being hosted for US President Donald Trump by President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday, is not the only Telangana connection to the visit of the first family of the US.
When the Special Protection Group (SPG), which secures Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and the Secret Service which protects the US President, sat down to chalk out multiple strategies for the security of the two leaders several days ago, a security breach that occurred during the visit of Ms Ivanka Trump, the President’s daughter, to Hyderabad in November 2017 was one of the critical aspects that was discussed. Both agencies then fine-tuned the security aspects based on the Hyderabad episode to ensure there was no security breach this time — especially leaks from the control rooms monitoring the visit of Trumps and the media coverage.
Highly placed sources in New Delhi told Deccan Chronicle that in Nove-mber 2017, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosted a dinner for Ms Trump at the Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad, an event that was barred for the media, a local TV channel obtained live feed from the control room set up in Hyderabad police commissioner’s office and began live telecast of the event.
As part of security measures, the police had installed several cameras for internal and external surveillance of Falaknuma Palace. The cameras were linked to the control room in the police commissioner's office.
As the dinner commenced, the channel got access to the control room and took live feeds and began live telecasting them. Minutes into the telecast, the matter reached New Delhi which led the SPG officials to call up Telangana DGP M. Mahendar Reddy after which the telecast was stopped immediately. Even Mr P.K. Misra, the then additional principal secretary to the Prime Minister, is said to have taken a strong objection to the airing of live visuals of the high profile event.
“This was not only breach of privacy, it was also a major security breach and protocol which could have had serious implications for the security of both the Prime Minister and Ivanka Trump,” sources who were associated with finalising the strategies for the ‘Namaste Trump’ event, said.
“Events like dinners involving dignitaries are strictly private in nature. More importantly, in the days of threat from drones and other weapons, the exact coordinates of which hall or room the dignitaries are present goes out if there is a live telecast of the event. This has serious security concerns,” sources, privy to the discussions for ‘Namaste Trump’ event said. They said that the security breach during the Ivanka Trump visit to Hyderabad figured multiple times during the meetings of SPG and Secret Service, based on which security aspects, particularly media coverage of the Trump visit were fine-tuned.
This time around, the security agencies ensured delayed visuals of the VVIP movement, wherever required....