Ever thought where the coins collected by security forces during the opening ceremony and other events of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi would go?
Coins of Rs 1, 2, 5 and 10 (most of them from foreigners) worth lakhs were on Sunday collected by Delhi police personnel involved in security related duties for the opening ceremony at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium while frisking and they were treated as 'unclaimed'.
While the Delhi police claimed to have put coins on the list of over 44 items barred from taking inside the Games venues, the spectators said they were not aware of it as they were not mentioned among the prohibited articles written at the back of the tickets.
"It is really unfair. I had gone through all instructions mentioned at the back of the entry ticket. It does not say anything about the coins. But security personnel have taken all the coins," said Jack, who had come from Australia to watch the Games.
Nisha, a science student of Delhi University said, "Like others, I also carried coins. Sadly I had to drop it in a box meant for depositing all these items."
The Delhi police is understood to have collected coins worth more than Rs one lakh from security check points.
On Sunday, nearly 60,000 spectators turned up at the JLN stadium to watch the grand opening ceremony.
"There should be some provision for these coins. Had it been mentioned on the entry tickets, it would have really been easier for us to keep coins back at home," said E Shivahariharan, another spectator. Both the Delhi police and the Organising Committee maintained that the coins were not allowed inside due to security reasons.
"It is a security measure and the Delhi police is responsible for it," a senior OC official said. When contacted, Delhi police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat said, "These coins are considered as unclaimed objects."
Bhagat refused to comment further. According to another senior police official, "the coins collected from these events are taken to nearby police stations and returned to the ones who come to claim them"
The Delhi police said they have banned items like alcohol, bottles, cans, match boxes, lighters, chewing tobacco, gutkha, inflammable items, firearms, eatables, knives, daggers, scissors, replica of toy guns or fire arms and coins, besides others. The restriction will remain in all the competition venues during the Games.
"We have asked people to follow these instructions and support us during the security checks," a police officer said.