Controversy marred the Queen’s Baton Relay for the 2010 Commonwealth Games on Saturday when the baton, which was on its way from Lucknow to Rae Bareli, was allegedly diverted from its scheduled route.
Officials said a “replica” of the baton was taken without authorisation to Sahara Shahar, the Sahara group’s township in Lucknow, in an official Commonwealth Games convoy.
“The baton was allegedly received by Sahara India Chairman Subroto Roy. We’re probing ... this,” Lucknow District Magistrate Anil Kumar Sagar said.
Commonwealth Games Additional Director-General Lt. General Raj Katyan, Convener Alka Lamba and Commonwealth Games Project Officer Shruti Menon were among those who took the replica to Sahara Shahar.
The administration will file a complaint with the Centre. “We are contemplating legal action (against Sahara and CWG officials),” Sagar said.
According to officials, after the customary relay run ended, five vehicles that were part of the official convoy diverted from the prescribed route. Officials and the police followed them and saw some people alighted from the vehicles and had reached Sahara Shahar in other cars.
A official said he was not aware of any prototype baton. “We are investigating how the replica was made a part of the official relay team and later diverted,” he added.
“We received only one baton, which arrived from Uttarakhand. I am told the replica is still in Sahara Shahar and is likely to be flown to Mumbai soon,” Sagar said.
“We did not break any norms as the official function was over. The district administration told us we could not use the official convoy vehicles... So we left their vehicles and took a private one,” Lamba said. A person claiming to be a Sahara spokesperson said the company had sought permission from the Indian Olympic Association.