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Stage set for Modiís Sunday show

Ranchi, Dec. 27: The state civil aviation department carried out a trial landing of a helicopter at JSCA International Stadium Complex, while Gujarat police did a recce of Dhurwa grounds in Ranchi today in view of the BJPís prime ministerial pick Narendra Modiís Sunday sermon.

After the Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) granted permission for landing of Modiís chopper at its main grounds, less than 100m from the rally venue, the civil aviation department did a test landing of the seven-seater Dauphin helicopter, provided by the Jharkhand government, around 4pm today.

During the test flight, civil aviation secretary Sajal Chakraborty accompanied Captain Malkit Singh Bains and Captain Gopal Solanki, who have been assigned the job of flying Modi to the JSCA stadium from the Birsa Munda airport on Sunday (December 29).

ďThe department has decided to provide a chopper to ferry Modi due to security concerns,Ē said a senior civil aviation department official.

Modi is scheduled to arrive at the Birsa Munda airport at 12.45pm on the day of the rally. The chopper will take less than 2.30 minutes to cover a real distance of 5.4km between the airport and the JSCA stadium.

The official said if Modi convey took the road route from the airport to the Dhurwa, police would have to sanitise the entire stretch and stop vehicular movement on the road.

In the afternoon, a team of Gujarat police headed by SP Jitendra Kumar and DSP N.M. Patil, who are part of Modiís security cover, took stock of security measures at the Dhurwa grounds. The team suggested certain changes, including turning the backside of the main stage into ďno manís zoneĒ. Also, they asked to separate two stages meant for VIP guests and artists from the central stage from where Modi will address the rally.

They also urged the Jharkhand police to seal Kute Road, situated on the rear side of the stage. ďIn case of any emergency, this road can be used to evacuate Modi,Ē the officer told The Telegraph.

The Ranchi police briefed mediapersons about traffic diversions on Sunday.

SP (traffic) Rajiv Ranjan said all vehicles coming from outside the state capital would be diverted through Ring Road and other outer stretches to reach the rally grounds. Police have also identified five parking spaces.

Nishikant worried

BJPís Godda MP Nishikant Dubey raised concerns over the security of Narendra Modi in view of the Patna serial blasts during his October 27 rally.

ďI am concerned about his (Modi) security. It is a challenge for all of us. The government should ensure that no untoward incident takes place on the rally day,Ē said Dubey during a news conference at a Ranchi hotel today.