Despite several claims by the administration and the police about no restrictions on the city roads and major tourist spots, tourists were a harried lot on Saturday as they were denied entry to the Capitol Complex, Sector 1, and Government College and Arts Museum, Sector 10. The area around the museum, the Capitol Complex and the Rock Garden were converted into a fortress with several companies of armed forces guarding all areas.
A visit to the Capitol Complex revealed the tourists were not allowed entry inside the complex and the open hand monument after 2pm. A tourist, Varun Jain, who had booked an online ticket to visit the Capitol Complex, had come all the way from Delhi, but he was not allowed go inside.
“We understand there are security issues but the local administration should have cancelled the online bookings and should have informed us in advance. Keeping in mind the French President’s visit, the passes should not have been issued for January 23,” said Varun, adding he was denied entry at the Sector-10 museum also.
Similarly, a group of tourists from Spain were allowed see the open hand monument, but not the secretariat and the assembly building, citing that tourists were not allowed to see these buildings during weekends. A group of other foreign tourists was also not allowed to visit the part of the museum where the French President is scheduled to pay visit; they were instead told to visit environment museum, situated at the end of the building. Sources say the tourists were not denied entry at the Rock Garden. The officials also claim there was no restriction on the entry, and more than 54 visitors visited the Sector-10 museum. There were reports that a group of Delhi University students was not allowed to go inside the museum, following which UT adviser Vijay Dev asked home secretary Anurag Agarwal to look into the matter.
Agarwal said 32 domestic and 22 foreign tourists visited the museum and no one was denied the entry. The museum director was told to give a report on the issue.
Punjabi, Haryanvi folk dances
During the French President’s visit, Punjabi and Haryanvi folk dances will be presented by artistes during a programme to be held by the BJP outside Hotel Taj. The party workers will also raise welcome slogans for the two leaders at the airport lightpoint, the transport lightpoint, the Sector 26 Grain Market, Sector 7-19 and 26-27 roundabouts.