- Published: Tuesday, 16 January 2018 12:34
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Ahead of Netanyahu’s visit, the local administration has put the Taj under a security lockdown.
“Foolproof security arrangements are going to be in place for the VIP visit,” said Amit Pathak, Agra district police chief.
As has been the practice during VIP visits, the Taj would be closed for public viewing during Netanyahu’s visit. Superintending Archaeologist for Agra circle of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) Bhuvan Vikram Singh issued notice of closure of Taj Mahal for general public from 10.20 am till 12.30 pm on Tuesday. The ticket windows are to close one hour before the VIP’s visit.
Netanyahu will return to Delhi later in the day and leave for Ahmedabad and then Mumbai on Wednesday.
UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath will receive the Israeli Prime Minister at the Taj. The meeting assumes importance ahead of the two-day UP investors’ summit in Lucknow from February 21. During his meeting with the Israeli PM, Adityanath is expected to seek Israeli collaboration and knowhow in agricultural mechanics.
A section of Muslims who blame Israel for alleged atrocities in Palestine have opposed the Israeli’s premier’s visit to the Taj. A Muslim delegation in Agra also submitted a memorandum to the local officials against Netanyahu’s visit.
But an NGO run primarily by Muslims said there is nothing controversial in Adityanath meeting Netanyahu.
“I don’t think there is anything wrong in meeting the Israeli PM. In fact, the then agriculture minister Shivpal Yadav, who was a dominant figure in the ruling Samajwadi Party, too had made a three-day visit to Israel soon after Akhilesh Yadav government had come to power,” said Athar Husain, director of the Lucknow-based Centre of Objective Research and Development (CORD).
Below are the live updates:
12:01pm: Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara reach Amar Vilas Hotel in Agra
11:28am: Yogi Adityanath reaches Technical airport in Agra to welcome PM of Israel.
9:24am: Yogi Adityanath will host lunch for the Israeli PM at Hotel Amar Vilas in Agra.
9:23am: Israel PM will reach Taj Mahal at around 11:20am and is expected to stay for an hour.
(Source: The Hindustan Times)