US President Barack Obama broke secret service's sacred security protocol by remaining in the open for more than two hours when he graced the Republic Day celebrations in Delhi as the chief guest.
He also departed from the tradition of not accompanying President of India and preferred to be driven to the venue in his own multi-layered bulletproof car 'The Beast'. Obama spent over two hours in the open as the chief guest of India's 66th Republic Day celebrations.
The security guidelines of secret service, the exclusive agency responsible for an American President's security, mandate that he does not spend more than 45 minutes at any open-air venue.
According to American media reports, the US President has never been on an outdoor event for more than 40 minutes. He also reached the parade venue in his own car. The move is seen as a departure from tradition, as it's customary for chief guests at the event to arrive and depart with the Indian President in his car from Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Obama arrives in his own vehicle
In a departure from tradition, the chief guest at the Republic Day parade, US President Barack Obama, arrived in his own highly-secured bomb-proof vehicle, 'The Beast,' at Rajpath. The Republic Day chief guest normally travels with the President of India in his car from Rashtrapati Bhawan.
Obama, along with wife Michelle, was received by Vice President Hamid Ansari and his wife Salma, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and defence minister Manohar Parrikar. President Pranab Mukherjee arrived soon after. Since 2012, the President of India travels in a heavily armoured black Mercedes Benz S600 (W221) Pullman Guard. The armour is designed to protect against military rifle shots, bomb shrapnels and other explosives.
The Beast, based on a Cadillac DTS, is the first Presidential limousine not to have a specific model name.