For the whole of Monday, a group of Delhi policemen were busy doing a job reserved for employees of banks — counting coins that they had collected from the various entry points to the Jawaharlal Nehru (JLN) stadium on Sunday. Hundreds of coins were taken out of the Commonwealth Games spectators' wallets, including foreigners, due to security reasons.
Till afternoon, the cops had reportedly counted coins worth Rs 90,000 and were still on the job. However, during late evening, the figure surprisingly came down to a mere Rs 7,117.
Rajan Bhagat, Delhi police spokesman, who said counting went on till late evening, finally stated: “Only Rs 7,117 came to us and the rest was taken away by some NGOs.”
According to him, these were unclaimed coins and the police would keep them for six months so that spectators could come and claim them. “But if they do not turn up within six months, the entire consignment will go to the treasury,” Bhagat added.
It was learnt that the Commonwealth Games spectators had to empty their pockets of coins as part of the latest security drill on day one of the 12-day games. “Coins pose a security threat to players participating in the CWG,” said a senior police officer.
Coin drop boxes were placed at the entry points of the venue. Spectators had to drop all the coins they were carrying into the boxes to gain entry to the venue. A policeman who was deputed at one of the entry points to the JLN stadium on Sunday, said: “We were given strict orders not to allow people to enter the venue with any metal, including coins. But not many people were not aware of this.”
Most of the coins that were collected in the drop box were of denominations Rs 2 and 5. However, coins of denomination Re1 and new Rs 10 were also found, said the official.
Vishal Sekhar, a spectator, who had to drop coins worth Rs 60 said: “This was quite surprising. Coins were not mentioned in the list of items classified as restricted for spectators.”