High-handedness or security? Delhi cop ‘slaps’ Kiwi cyclist | other | Hindustan Times
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High-handedness or security? Delhi cop ‘slaps’ Kiwi cyclist

other Updated: Oct 11, 2010 00:45 IST
Sharad Deep & Ajai Masand

This is one incident, which has left the Organising Committee (OC) and the Delhi Police red-faced. A Delhi cop allegedly slapped a New Zealand cyclist when the sportsman tried to go out of the Games Village to practice.

The matter was reported to the venue commander, Sudhir Yadav, by Murray Smith and Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) official John Eades. It was also discussed at the Multiple Stakeholders Meeting.

An eyewitness said that some cyclists wanted to go out of the Village for training on Saturday, the eve of the cycling road race event. They were, however, denied permission.

A heated exchange ensued and the cop allegedly slapped the cyclist. Ashok Kapur, the Deputy Director General at the Village said there was a heated exchange but no one was slapped. “I can confirm that there was a heated exchange of words but no one was slapped. We have sent a report of the incident to the OC top bosses and investigations are on.

“We have studied the close-circuit television footage of the incident but no one was slapped," he told HT. Sources said the Commonwealth Games Federation CEO, Mike Hooper, had been apprised of the incident but the New Zealand Commonwealth Games Association (NZCGA) and the CGF are not willing to take the matter further.

“NZCGA may not pursue the matter, though they feel that Delhi Police's action was heavy handed, because of a Kiwi TV presenter’s ‘racial slur’ against Delhi Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit,” said an OC source.

The venue commander and Joint Commissioner, Delhi Police, Games Village, Sudhir Yadav, became furious when HT contacted him. “Some cyclists wanted to go out of the Village to practice, but we denied them permission, after which an argument ensued. How can we allow them to practice on congested Delhi roads? Everyone starts blaming the police. No slapping incident took place," he said.

A senior New Zealand team official said, “Our press attaché is at the cycling competition and she would be the right person to give comments.” He denied that NZ had lodged a complaint with OC. Although the press attache promised to reply before 9 p.m, she didn’t. Ian Chesterman, the CGF Media Services Manager, said, “We have spoken to the country concerned. I will not comment anymore.”

OC sources also said that the Delhi Police has removed more than 200 personnel from Games duties for not behaving properly with foreign athletes during the last three days, but Joint Commissioner in-charge of the Games, JK Sharma said he would not comment on the issue.