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Confusion prevails at security check

india Updated: Sep 24, 2010 00:25 IST
Moonmoon Ghosh

Getting into the Commonwealth games Village is not easy. As a mere mortal, if you seek entry, you will have to pass through stringent security checks at two different locations, before you can walk the hallowed grounds. But there appear to be no such stipulations for our canine counterparts.

Numerous stray dogs could be seen wondering what all the fuss was about throughout Thursday. And when one was shooed away at the gate by a concerned guard, it found its way in through the yellow barricade, unchecked.

Security is an integral part of the requirements for smooth functioning of the Games. However, the confusion at the security post was visible there for all to see. The long list of items banned inside the Village includes alcohol, cigarettes, matchboxes and lighters, water bottles, tobacco, firearms, eatables (except baby food), fireworks and musical instruments, among other things. But guards at the first check post even disallowed phone chargers, earphones and pen drives --- even though all these items were not listed as ‘unsafe.’ And of course, there is no use trying to argue reason with the Delhi Police.

The swanky lounge had a couple of plush sofas, a Nescafe vending machine, and refrigerators stocked with water. Volunteers greeted people with a courteous ‘namaste’.

Time check

In the morning, Chief Minister Sheila Dixit spent close to three-and-a-half hours at the Games Village. Having come in around 8.30am, she left at 11:53am. After her departure, OC chairman Suresh Kalmadi in his silver Audi, refusing to say a word. According to sources, OC secretary-general Lalit Bhanot brought in 1,200 workers to clean up the place.

As the day progressed, fumigation continued in and outside the venue. As pedestrians walking towards Akshardham temple stopped to gawk at the venue, security officials shooed them away. Onlookers were forbidden from clicking photographs outside the venue, and parking was strictly prohibited.

Dixit returned at 6:30pm again for an hour, after a high-level meeting with the Prime Minister. Later, as smoke began to rise behind the apartments, the guards allayed fears of a fire. It was just another fumigation drive. And as nine guards stood inside to frisk and peer into the bags (that included pulling currencies out of wallets and checking the front zipper of trousers) a mongrel carelessly bounded in --- unaware that it was supposed to seek permission.