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HindustanTimes Mon,29 Dec 2014

Cops turn ‘thieves’ at CWG venues

Neelam Pandey and Jatin Anand, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, October 06, 2010
First Published: 00:41 IST(6/10/2010) | Last Updated: 00:43 IST(6/10/2010)

It seems security personnel at various Commonwealth Games event venues are on a nicking spree. Loose change, lipstick, tracksuits, iPods, (water) sippers you name it — and they'll take it.

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Visitors and volunteers complained about their missing ‘stuff’, which they had deposited at the gates before entering.

For Olivia Dalrymple, artist and wife of writer William Dalrymple, a visit to RK Khanna Stadium on Monday turned out to be a fleecing experience. At the entrance, she and her friends were made to remove their make-up kits and other titbits from their purses.

“Some female security personnel at the entry gates made us empty our purses of everything — lipsticks, pens, coins, iPods — when we entered stadium around 5pm last evening. They said they’d remember us and give us the stuff back. But when we came out two hours later, they (security personnel) were gone and so was all the stuff,” said 45-year-old Olivia.

There are some things on the Organising Committee’s list of prohibited items; coins being one of them. However, lipsticks, iPods, eyeliner and water sippers are allowed.

Olivia said it wasn’t the value of the things she’d lost, but the lack of procedure that irked her.

“The whole experience was upsetting. When we asked for our things, an official put a couple of rubbish cans in front of us and asked us to sift through them. We decided not to and just walked away,” she said.

Even volunteers complained of security personnel’s rudeness and missing items. This despite the arrest of two Central Public Works Department workers for stealing a Delhi Police constable’s tracksuit from Indira Gandhi Stadium.

The volunteers said their complementary Reebok water sippers, which they had deposited at venue gates, had gone “missing”.
“When we were entering the venue from gate number 7A in the morning, the security told us we couldn’t carry the sippers.

They said we needed to deposit them and could collect them after the shift. Later, they told us sanitation workers of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi took them away after cleaning the area,” a volunteer said.

“The sipper is part of the volunteer kit, so how can it be prohibited? We have given a complaint to our team leaders,” another volunteer said.

OC spokesperson Lalit Bhanot could not be reached despite repeated calls to his phone. However, Delhi Police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat said: “We have already brought out a list of prohibited items that visitors are supposed to abide by. As they are not expected to carry these items inside the stadia, there is no procedure in place to keep them before entry and return them subsequently, either.”


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