New Delhi to witness both Olympic torch relay and parallel Tibetan protests

April 17th, 2008 - 2:10 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Apr 17 (ANI): Apart from Olympic torch relay today, people in New Delhi would also see a parallel Tibetan protest, in which writer Arundhati Roy and politicians like George Fernandes and Yashwant Sinha would take part.

Thousands of policemen and 15,000 paramilitaries have been deployed to prevent any attempts by the Tibetans to disrupt the Olympic torch relay, a senior police official said.

Security personnel including the Rapid Action Force armed with assault rifles have been deployed near the Le Meridien Hotel, where the torch has been kept.

Barricades have been erected on the designated relay route.

Security arrangements have been enhanced around the Chinese embassy, which has witnessed a number of protests in the last few days.

The India-leg of the torch relay is considered one of the most sensitive as the country is home to about 100,000 exiled Tibetans.

The relay will see the participation of 70 celebrities including 47 sportspersons. They will run along Rajpath surrounded by multi-layered security.

Cricket star Sachin Tendulkar has opted out of the event citing injury. Actors Aamir Khan, Saif Ali Khan and Sagarika Ghatge and sportspersons like P T Usha and Anju Bobby George are among the prominent personalities taking part.

School students are also taking part. The general public will not see the relay because of the heavy security.

About 20 Chinese commandos, drawn from the Olympic Holy Flame Protection Group, will form the inner circle of the security ring while the elite National Security Guards personnel will provide the second ring of protection.

Commandos from the elite NSG will keep a watch from rooftops even as two choppers will provide air cover for the event. (ANI)

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