Olympic torch begins India run

April 17th, 2008 - 6:30 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 17 (IANS) The Beijing Olympic torch began its India run Thursday with security personnel swarming the national capital’s Raisina Hill as fears of Tibetan protesters overshadowed the sporting spirit. India’s woman weightlifter Kunjum Rani Devi kicked off the relay of the Olympic flame, which arrived here late Wednesday under a thick security blanket and was kept overnight at the Le Meridien Hotel.

The torch run is from Raisina Hill, with the presidential palace in the background, to the India Gate monument. A short 2.3 km route, truncated because of security concerns, particularly after the relay was disrupted in London and Paris.

Tibetan protesters tried breaking the security cordon at various places around the India Gate area, which saw three-tier security akin to Republic Day.

At Le Meridien Hotel, nine Tibetans including a monk tried entering the premises but were swiftly whisked away by police.

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