Kiran Bedi refuses to carry Olympic torch

April 9th, 2008 - 5:11 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Apr 9 (ANI): Magsaysay Awardee Kiran Bedi refused the invitation of the Indian Olympic Association to carry the Olympic torch.

She said, I dont want to run in the event as caged woman. It is better to let the torch travel on wheel or with the army.

She also slammed the tight security arrangements for the event.

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has invited Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi and other young Parliamentarians to participate in the Indian leg of the Olympic torch relay on April 17.

IOA President Suresh Kalmadi said on Wednesday that the organisers have requested him to invite political personalities for the relay.

“The organisers want to include people from all walks of life. So, we have written a letter to a few young MPs including Rahul Gandhi, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Jiten Prasad and Sachin Pilot,” Kalmadi said.

Sources said, Rahul may decline to take part in the relay as Special Protection Group (SPG) is unlikely to approve Rahul’s run at the torch relay looking at the current political scenario. The Congress MP’s office has already asked the SPG for a security review.

Cricket star Sachin Tendulkar has agreed to be a part of the run here on April 17, while Indian football captain Bhaichung Bhutia has pulled out of the run, expressing his solidarity with the pro-Tibetan activists.

Kalmadi had also assured that the relay, which has seen worldwide protests, would go without any hiccup in India.

“The torch relay is a matter of pride and we would ensure that no untoward incident takes place. Everything has been planned and there would be adequate security measures,” he added.

Milkha Singh, Pullela Gopichand and Anju Bobby George are among the prominent personalities taking part in the relay.

National Security Guards will guard the Olympic torch during its three-kilometer relay. China had earlier requested that its commandos be allowed to accompany the flame, but India turned it down.

Home Ministry sources say helicopters will also be used for air surveillance and the torch could be carried inside a vehicle if the situation worsens.

The Communist nation had requested that its elite China Red Guards commandos accompany the torch.

India is already arranging a three-tier security for the torch relay.

“As far as the Government of India is concerned, we are committed to provide complete security to the Olympic Torch,” said Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma. (ANI)

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