Snipers, Missiles, AI Cameras: All the Forces in Action For G20 Summit in Delhi

Delhi is readying for a deployment of a total of 130,000 security officers, bomb squads, commandos, and snipers.

7 min read

Video Producer: Aparna Singh

Video Editor: Puneet Bhatia

As India prepares to host the G20 Summit in New Delhi on 9-10 September, the capital city is readying for a massive deployment of nearly 130,000 security officers, bomb squads, commandos, snipers, and more, The Quint has learnt.

In addition, the city will heavily rely on modern technology to combat the possibilities of every threat – chemical, radiological, weapons attacks, arial attacks, protests, and more.

The Quint explains in detail everything you need to know.


Enough Security to Guard a Fortress? 

The summit will be held at the expansive and renovated Pragati Maidan, a convention and exhibition center situated in the heart of Delhi, and will see participation the likes of United States President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

Here's a full list of all the world leaders attending the summit.

Foreign intelligence agencies such as the United States’ Central Investigation Agency (CIA), China’s Ministry of State Security, United Kingdom’s MI6, and others have reportedly arrived in New Delhi to oversee and ensure the security of their leaders.

Meanwhile, while close to 10,000 traffic police personnel will manage smooth vehicle movement, the Delhi Police have deployed a force of 80,000 officers.

Thousands of personnel from other government security services, including the home guards and the Border Security Force (BSF), are also scheduled to be brought in.

The security detail for the 43 foreign leaders attending the G20 summit will involve approximately 700 personnel from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), all of whom have experience from their previous roles in the National Security Guard (NSG) or Special Protection Group (SPG).

Delhi is readying for a deployment of a total of 130,000 security officers, bomb squads, commandos, and snipers.

National Security Guard (NSG) personnel during a security drill ahead of the G20 Summit, in New Delhi.

(Photo: PTI)

“A refresher course in VIP security has been given to those who have handled high-profile VIPs in their previous stints with the SPG or the NSG. Soft skills have also been imparted about cultural sensibilities of the 18 countries whose delegates are expected to visit,” an officer dealing with VIP security told CNN-News18.

The SPG, composed of elite officers from various law enforcement agencies, including the police, paramilitary forces, Intelligence Bureau (IB), and Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), is responsible for ensuring the safety of India's Prime Minister.

Additionally, the protection of the spouses and family members of these world leaders will be entrusted to Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) troops.

In a demonstration of international cooperation, a staffer at the Ministry of External Affairs told The Quint that foreign intelligence agencies from nearly every participating country in the G20 summit have been collaborating with India's RAW and IB to secure their respective leaders.

Delhi is readying for a deployment of a total of 130,000 security officers, bomb squads, commandos, and snipers.

Paramilitary personnel take a selfie at a newly-developed G20 Park, in south Delhi, Monday, Aug 28, 2023.

(Photo: PTI)

Addressing a press conference, Delhi Police Special CP (Protective Security Division) Madhup Tiwari on 1 September, Friday said a police officer with a rank of special commissioner will oversee the security at individual venues, while DCP-ranked officers will serve as “camp commanders.”

Delhi is readying for a deployment of a total of 130,000 security officers, bomb squads, commandos, and snipers.

Delhi Police Special CP (Protective Security Division) Madhup Tiwari briefs the media regarding security arrangements for the G20 Summit.

(Photo: PTI)

“The rest of Delhi will be on high alert," he said.

Guarding Hotels: HIT Squads, Helicopter Extractions, and More

The NSG personnel will also collaborate closely with the Indian Air Force (IAF), Air Traffic Control (ATC), and other agencies to effectively counter potential drone threats.

According to media reports, hotels hosting G20 delegates will be equipped with "House Intervention Teams" (HIT squads), specially assembled teams comprised of Delhi Police officers and NSG commandos trained to respond to hostage crises and conflict within enclosed spaces.

These HIT squads are only the tip of the iceberg.

The summit will also see special weapons and tactics (SWAT) teams stationed outside designated hotels of designated leaders. Planning for every crises, HIT team members will have the support of snipers during a hostage situation, if at all, and will maintain a vantage point overlooking the hotel premises.

Moreover, the IAF and the NSG have conducted slithering drills (to rapidly deploy personnel via helicopters in case of emergencies) to prepare the commandos for potential evacuation scenarios.

  • An Indian Air Force (IAF) helicopter during a security drill atop Le Meridien, one of the many designated hotels for G20 leaders and their delegations, on 31 August.

    (Photo: Twitter/@nsgblackcats)

The security response will also have contributions from the Indian Army, CRPF, SSB, Delhi Police, sniffer dogs, and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel, The Quint has learnt.

To enhance security along the route from Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport to their assigned hotels, a total of 69 explosive detection dogs from the police's K9 squad will be strategically deployed across key sites in the National Capital, as reported by The Indian Express.

These highly trained canines specialise in explosive detection, narcotics detection, and tracking.

These dogs, along with two handlers each, form part of the anti-sabotage team during the summit. They will maintain a continuous presence outside the airport, hotels accommodating dignitaries, and places they are expected to visit, according to a senior police officer.


Eyes in the Sky: Ready With Rafale, Air Defence Missiles 

A spokesperson for the IAF told Reuters that it will "deploy comprehensive measures for integrated aerospace defence in the Delhi and closeby areas."

A notice has been issued, prohibiting the operation of sub-conventional aerial platforms, including paragliders, paramotors, hang-gliders, UAVs, UASs, microlight aircraft, remotely piloted aircraft, hot air balloons, small-sized powered aircraft, quadcopters, or para-jumping from aircraft within the jurisdiction of the NCT of Delhi during the G20 Summit.
Delhi is readying for a deployment of a total of 130,000 security officers, bomb squads, commandos, and snipers.

An advisory published in The Indian Express on 1 September 2023. From kites to $100 million dollar predator drones, the restriction applies to all.

(Photo: Screengrab) 

This restriction is to be enforced for a 15-day period, and violations will be subject to punishment under Section 188 of the IPC.

The Quint was further told by a Ministry of Defence personnel that the IAF intends to station air defence missiles, including systems like the Medium Range Surface to Air Missile (MRSAM) and the Akash air defence missile, as part of their strategy.

The South Block staffer added that multi-role fighter aircrafts such as the Rafales have been placed on heightened alert status at the operational readiness platform level, advanced AWACS surveillance have been put into place, and the IAF has initiated activation of airbases within New Delhi and others like Hindon air base, and bases located in Ambala, Bhatinda, Adampur, and Sirsa.

The IAF plans to make use of the domestically developed NETRA surveillance aircraft to further enhance their monitoring capabilities.


Bomb Squads, Anti-Drone Teams, and Chemical Attack Prevention

Over 450 quick response teams (QRT), consisting of police and disaster management units, will be strategically positioned at the summit venue, 23 designated hotels, and along the routes used by foreign leaders.

Delhi is readying for a deployment of a total of 130,000 security officers, bomb squads, commandos, and snipers.

Rehearsal for the upcoming G20 Summit 2023, in New Delhi, on 26 August.

(Photo: PTI)

In addition to these measures, seven disaster management teams will remain stationed at crucial locations, including four hotels, Pragati Maidan, Rajghat, and the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI-PUSA).

Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered cameras are integrated into the security setup to detect individuals scaling walls or exhibiting unusual body movements during the summit, as reported by The New Indian Express.

For addressing potential bomb threats, NSG bomb squads will be equipped with Remotely Operated Vehicles and Total Containment Vehicles and further reinforcing security, the Indian Army's anti-sabotage teams, comprising more than 5,000 personnel, will also be deployed.

Preparations include 80 teams of doctors and 130 ambulances on standby to address any potential health emergencies during the summit. Furthermore, around 66 fire tenders will be strategically parked at the G20 venue and designated hotels, as per the news agency's report.

In addition to these measures, standby units, including bomb disposal teams, anti-drone teams, and teams equipped to handle biological and chemical threats, are prepared. The anti-drone units, equipped with specialized firearms and jamming devices, will be stationed at the G20 venue.

The NDRF will also deploy four newly-inducted Hazardous Material (Hazmat) vehicles to deal with any chemical or radiological emergencies during the two-day event.


Curbing the 'Miscreant': From Langurs to Protestors 

Life-size cutouts of langurs have been installed in various parts of New Delhi as a measure to address the issue of rhesus monkey disturbances in the city.

Delhi is readying for a deployment of a total of 130,000 security officers, bomb squads, commandos, and snipers.

The langur, a larger primate with a distinctive black face, is commonly used by local authorities to deter monkeys from causing problems, according to officials.

(Photo: PTI)

In addition, Satish Upadhyay, the vice-chair of the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), told news agency ANI that team of "30 to 40 people" who mimic langur sounds have been deployed.

But monkeys are not their only concern. Preparing to deal with demonstrators chaining themselves to immovable objects to protest the attendance of various leaders and the actions undertaken by them, security personnel have been armed with bolt and chain cutters to clear the area.

A report by The Times of India said that officers have been shown videos of protests during past summits, such as in Hong Kong in 2016 and in Osaka in 2019.

Police are set to deploy mobile units referred to as "Vikrant" trucks, acting as moving storage facilities equipped with anti-riot gear, including tear gas shells, batons, and equipment for at least 100 police officers.

The trucks will be strategically positioned at a minimum of six locations surrounding the summit venues and along the designated routes. The police are also said to be prepared with blankets to overcome any attempts at self-immolation by agitators, anticipating protests in central Delhi

Additionally, social media teams have been assigned the task of monitoring discussions related to protests, demonstrations, and calls for action across various online platforms.

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