The Union home ministry has issued immediate orders for the deployment of an armed contingent from the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) to safeguard the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA). This security measure is in preparation for hosting special events and an exhibition for the spouses and family members of dignitaries arriving for the G20 Leaders’ Summit scheduled later this week, according to official sources.
Situated at the heart of the national capital and encompassing eight acres along the India Gate hexagon, the NGMA is the foremost institution in the country dedicated to modern and contemporary Indian art. It boasts an extensive collection of art, spanning multiple gallery floors, an art shop, an auditorium, a preview theatre, and a library.
The senior Union home ministry officer informed PTI that the CISF has been instructed to promptly deploy a contingent to provide armed security coverage to NGMA during the G20 Leaders’ Summit taking place on September 9-10. Although the facility already has private security personnel, this deployment of CISF personnel is considered a temporary measure specifically for the G20 event. Following this initial deployment, it is anticipated that CISF security will become a regular feature for NGMA.
The CISF, a central armed police force (CAPF) under the jurisdiction of the home ministry, possesses significant expertise in securing vital installations within the art and culture domain. It has been responsible for safeguarding the National Museum in Delhi and the Indian Museum in Kolkata for an extended period.
Officials have disclosed that a special exhibition titled “Roots and Routes: Past, Present and Continuous” is being curated at Jaipur House within NGMA by the culture ministry to coincide with India’s presidency during the G20 Summit. As part of this exhibition, various museums across the country will contribute artifacts, sculptures, and miniatures for display at NGMA.
Given the significance of safeguarding these valuable items and ensuring the protection of visiting foreign dignitaries, the decision was made to enlist professional security provided by the CISF, according to the officials.
During the two-day Summit, the spouses and other family members of the dignitaries will be treated to a special millets lunch at the NGMA facility.
Approximately 50 CISF personnel, trained in armed and commando tactics, will oversee the facility’s security. Their responsibilities will include regulating entry and exit, conducting visitor checks, and inspecting belongings. In the event of a major threat or sabotage incident, they will be supported by a quick reaction team (QRT). To facilitate their duties, the force will be equipped with door frame metal detectors, handheld scanners, and X-ray baggage machines.
(With PTI inputs)