India deliberates on Olympic torch route

April 4th, 2008 - 12:34 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Apr 4 (ANI):The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) is busy deliberating on the route the Olympic torch will take through the country. “We have discussed about the routes, but we are yet to finalize on that. Once the decision is taken, it would be made public. Fifty sportsmen will participate in this run. Security precautions will be there definitely. It is an Olympic torch, a global torch relay and it will be monitored by the International Olympic Committee,” said Suresh Kalmadi, the President of the Indian Olympic Association.
The country’s football captain, Bhaichung Bhutia, a Buddhist, has already refused to carry the Olympic torch in protest against China’s actions to suppress the unrest in Tibet.
Kalmadi termed the decision of Bhutia as a personal one, but assured the participation of other sportsmen in carrying the torch.
“Baichung Bhutia has sent a letter to me that he will not participate. It is his personal decision. We respect it, but the rest of the sportsmen will participate in carrying the Olympic torch,” Kalmadi said.
Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan remained committed to participating in the event despite receiving several requests to boycott the Olympic torch relay, as he wanted to keep the Beijing Olympics separate from the issue of human rights violations.
Meanwhile, the Union Minister of State for External Affairs, Anand Sharma, has assured Beijing of smooth and safe Olympics torch relay in India.
The torch will reach New Delhi on April 17 after a 130-day relay.
It has already reached Kazakhstan’s biggest city, Almaty, its first stop on the international leg.
The flame’s next stop over is Istanbul. It is due to reach Beijing on August 6. (ANI)

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