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Soft targets more vulnerable to attacks in CWG: Agency

world Updated: Sep 26, 2010 10:37 IST
PTI
Commonwealth Games

The diversion of the bulk of security resources to protect the Commonwealth Games venues in New Delhi could make soft targets like tourist sites, public places and transport more vulnerable to terror attacks, a UK-based security firm has warned.

Control Risks, a firm that provides advice and services that enable companies manage strategic and operational risks, has advised its clients to stay away from tourist attractions, public places and government buildings, and not to travel by public transport during the period the event is on in Delhi, The Observer newspaper reported.

Chietigj Bajpaee, the company's south Asian senior analyst, said that Control Risks had told clients to expect terrorist attacks on soft targets around India in the days running up to the Games and during the Games themselves, from October 3 to 14.

"I think there is a relatively high likelihood of attacks taking place but these attacks may not target the Games venues themselves," he said.

"The diversion of security resources to protecting the main stadiums left India without the capacity or capability protect soft targets, with local police not up to the job," the firm has said.

"We have advised against using public transport, advised against going to tourist attractions in the weeks leading up to and during the event, given that security resources will be concentrated on securing the Games themselves, so other parts of the city and the country will be vulnerable.

It has also warned that team participants may be more vulnerable than tourists.

"We have advised avoiding areas around government buildings or anything that could be considered a soft target, such as marketplaces," Bajpaee said.

To add to visitors' concerns, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has now expressed serious misgivings about the quality of the stadiums.

The institution's head in India Sachin Sandhir warned of serious shortcomings in the public and sporting infrastructure.

About 7,000 athletes from 71 countries are expected to travel to Delhi, but some have pulled out, citing security fears, concerns over the accommodation and the ongoing dengue fever problem as reasons.

Australia's world discuss champion Dani Samuels said the shooting near Jama Masjid had led to her decision to pull out.

English diver Peter Waterfield, a previous gold and silver medal winner, said he was putting his family first and would not put himself at risk by travelling.