Only security men witness historic Olympic torch relayApril 17th, 2008 - 10:19 pm ICT by admin
New Delhi, April 17 (IANS) Security for the Olympic torch relay far exceeded the security for India’s annual Republic Day parade with over 12,000 police and paramilitary personnel forming three security rings alongside the 2.3 km relay route. “During Republic Day there are usually 6,000 police personnel from Vijay Chowk to India Gate giving a three tier cover. But now around 12,300 security personnel are guarding the flame,” a police official at the Vijay Chowk told IANS.
The officials of the Delhi Police, Border Security Force (BSF), Indo-Tibet Border Police (ITBP) and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have been camping at the Rajpath (the road between Vijay Chowk and India Gate) since Tuesday afternoon.
“The whole area has been cordoned off. All the roads leading to India Gate has been closed for a radius of two kilometers,” the official added.
The security cover ensured that no public was allowed to get anywhere near the Olympic flame’s route quite in contrast with the Beijing Olympics slogan “one world one dream.”
The only witnesses of the relay were media persons and the torchbearers. Delhi Police officials wearing navy blue sports tracksuits surrounded the celebrities and sportsmen carrying the flame.
All the government building were closed from 1 pm to 6 pm. Cops maintained a hawk’s vigil at the entire 2.3 km route as they stood guard on the rooftops of the building facing the Rajpath.