Chinese embassy turns into a fortressMarch 26th, 2008 - 5:58 pm ICT by admin
New Delhi, March 26 (IANS) In the wake of intermittent Tibetan demonstrations, the Chinese embassy here has virtually been turned into a fortress with a large posse of Delhi Police personnel deployed around it and the road adjoining it closed to the public. Two companies of the Delhi Police (220 men) have been guarding the perimeter of the sprawling Chinese embassy in the high-security Chanakyapuri diplomatic enclave since March 9.
On March 21 Tibetan activists protesting Chinese crackdown in Lhasa had entered the embassy by scaling its high boundary wall after giving policemen the slip.
The incident had been an embarrassment for the Delhi Police. Since then, vigil around the embassy has been stepped up.
“Considering the area of the Chinese embassy and that it has roads on two sides of it, we have to make extra efforts for the security and we have made all the adequate arrangements,” Assistant Commissioner of Police Rajan Bhagat told IANS.
For the policemen on guard around the embassy it has been a hectic and long haul.
“We have to be constantly on our toes to avert a repeat of the March 21 incident. The stress is definitely high but in the end we are trained for that,” a policeman posted at the embassy said.
“It had been difficult to fortify the embassy as it has two roads adjoining. Though the Tibetan protestors managed to sneak in from the rear they were quickly chased away. This in itself is a proof of the tight security,” another policeman added.
To bolster the security around the embassy, one of the roads has been closed and concertina wire has been put over the boundary wall.
“Earlier we did not want to cause inconvenience to the public by closing Panchsheel Marg, but in view of the sensitivity and gravity of the situation we have stopped public movement on the road,” Bhagat said.
In 2006, the American embassy here had been guarded as heavily in the wake of terrorist threats but not for so long.