PM took impromptu decision to walk at Vajpayee’s funeral

New Delhi, Aug 18 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 8/18/2018 12:29:38 PM IST

Outside the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) headquarters in Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg, as former PM Atal Bihari Vaypayee’s mortal remains were being taken out of the building, Prime Minister Narendra Modi followed behind. 

When he did not get into his car, everyone around was taken by surprise. Modi quietly followed the hearse that was on its way to Rashtriya Smriti Sthal, the funeral venue. 

At that point, the Special Protection Group, the elite force that guards the PM, informed the police that Modi would walk alongside the funeral procession right up to Smriti Sthal in north Delhi, a senior police officer said. BJP chief Amit Shah, Union ministers and chief ministers of several states, including Vijay Rupani, Shivraj Chouhan, Yogi Adityanath and Devendra Fadnavis were among those who walked sombrely behind the carriage as it slowly made its way to the cremation site.

“Never before has any Prime Minister walked 6 km like this in a public procession. We got very little time to tweak his security plan although we were equipped to handle VIP security all along the way. 

We did not have the list of VVIPs who would walk, but we had prepared anyway. However, the PM’s decision to walk had an element of surprise,” said the official, who was part of the security arrangements on Friday.

According to the security protocol, hours before a Prime Minister drives past a road, the area is cordoned off. Traffic comes to a complete halt. Armed police officers stand on each side of the road. No outsider should stand in the way. On Friday, Modi and other leaders walked with the funeral procession from Deen Dayal Upadhaya Marg, passing through usually crowded areas like Daryaganj in Old Delhi until reaching the funeral venue.


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