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R-Day level security for Olympic torch relay
April 11, 2008 00:59 IST
Last Updated: April 11, 2008 01:00 IST
Not taking chances after Tibetan protestors disrupted the Beijing [Images] Olympic torch relay in London [Images] and Paris, authorities on Thursday laid out an elaborate security plan and decided to keep the Rajpath out of bounds for the public during the exercise in New Delhi on April 17.
Under the plan, an impregnable Republic Day-type security cover would be in place along the Rajpath with heavy deployment of crack commandos and para-military personnel. All roads leading to Rajpath will be sealed as a precautionary measure and 20 Chinese torch attenders would form the inner circle to be walled on both sides by elite National Security Guard, as part of the inner security ring.
The outer security circle will comprise security personnel drawn from the Delhi police and the Central Reserve Police Force as other NSG commandos keep a close vigil along the 2.3-km stretch for the relay run, official sources said after a high-level meeting to review security for the event.
The meeting discussed the Chinese request that only the Indian media be allowed to cover the event. But sources said that no decision had yet been taken on it and efforts would be made to work out an arrangement for other media as well.
While school students would line up along the Rajpath, elaborate security arrangements would be made to ward off any protest outside the Chinese Embassy and the area will be totally cordoned off, they said.
Another round of meeting is likely to be held next week to finalise the arrangements and one more Chinese security team is expected to be here to fine-tune the arrangements.
NSG commandos are likely to take control of all high-rise buildings along the Rajpath and keep a watch from roof-tops.
As per the plans, nearly 2000 CRPF personnel, NSG commandos and thousands of Delhi police personnel would keep vigil on the relay run.
The decision is understood to have been taken at the highest level after the torch run saw angry protests in London and Paris, where even the flame had to be put out four times.
The sources said that the run would begin from the Rashtrapati Bhavan [Images] and end at India Gate, while the general public will be kept away from the event.
"Access control would be ensured and the venue sealed from all sides," a senior Home Ministry official said.
The security drill would be no less than that taken during the Republic Day since some Tibetan organisations are planning to stage protest marches during the event.