Iranian President to arrive in Hyderabad on today



Hyderabad, Feb 15: Tight security arrangements will be in place for Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who is arriving here on today on his three-day visit to India, officials said.



Officials of Iranian and Indian security agencies were busy giving final touches to the security during his stay in Hyderabad for two days.



The agencies in coordination with the Hyderabad police will be making fool-proof arrangements at the historic Makkah Masjid, where the Iranian President will be addressing a congregation after Friday prayers.



Rouhani will be the first head of a state to address a congregation at the 17th century mosque, one of the biggest in India. After offering the prayers along with ministers and top officials accompanying him, he will address the gathering in the sprawling courtyard of the mosque, which can accommodate about 10,000 worshippers.



Authorities may not restrict the entry of worshippers into the mosque but additional security measures will be in place. A large number of Shias including those having Iranian lineage are expected to turn up to hear Rouhani. The invitees will be issued security passes.



The foundation for Makkah Masjid was in late in 1616 by Qutub Shahi ruler Sultan Mohammad but it was completed during Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb's reign in 1694.



Security had been tightened at Makkah Masjid since May 18, 2007 when a bomb blast during Friday prayers had killed five people and injured scores of others. Following this incident, CCTV cameras and metal detectors were installed in the premises.



Telangana Chief Secretary S.K. Joshi on Wednesday reviewed arrangements for Rouhani's visit at a high-level meeting with officials of various departments. Iranian Consul General Mohammad Haghbin Ghomi and other Iranian officials also attended the meeting.



Joshi directed Hyderabad Police Commissioner V.V. Srinivas Rao and other police officials to make all necessary security and traffic control arrangements.



The Iranian President will land at Begumpet Airport in the city on Thursday evening. Union Power Minister R. K. Singh will receive him on behalf of the Indian Government.



Rouhani will stay at a star hotel in Banjara Hills, where he will address a meeting of 'ulema' or religious scholars of various sects, academicians and other eminent people the same day.



The next day he will visit Makkah Masjid and Salarjung Museum, famous for the world's largest one man collection of artefacts.



The Chief Secretary noted that Hyderabad has historic relations with Iran. He said the visit of Iran President to Hyderabad was significant and welcoming him will be great opportunity.



Rouhani is also likely to visit Qutub Shahi Tombs, the mausoleums of Qutub Shahi rulers, who had Iranian lineage.



After two-day stay here, he will leave for New Delhi, where is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday.

IANS

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