With around 10,000 sportspersons and officials expected to touch down at Delhi for the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has started efforts to make the 12-day event in October a safe one.
Sources said the MHA, which is discussing the Commonwealth Games Security Plan, was planning to create a specialised security unit exclusively for the Games.
To be made up of the Delhi Police and central paramilitary forces like the CRPF, BSF and the CISF, the unit is intended to provide foolproof security cover. It will fan across the Capital but security arrangements will be stronger at the Games Village where athletes and officials will be staying, the stadia and the convoys in which athletes will move from one venue to another.
The sources said once the blueprint was finalised, the security unit would be given training for the Games.
MHA officials are studying the security arrangements at the Melbourne Games and the ongoing football World Cup in Germany.
The officials added that sportspersons from the UK and Australia could be under a greater threat during the Delhi Games and would be given special cover. A reason for the heightened risk: their countries are part of the US-led coalition force deployed in Iraq. The Capital has often been a soft target for militant groups, especially the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba and Hizbul Mujahideen. The intelligence agencies suspect that these terrorist organisations – which are believed to have modules in Delhi – will try to strike during the Games.
The MHA is examining the possibility of sealing Delhi’s borders once the Games begin on October 3. “Some movement of traffic could be allowed but there will be thorough check on the borders,” said a senior official. “The Commonwealth Games will be one of the biggest international events India will host in recent times and providing security will be a tough task.”