267 held for protests
267 protesters, operating in small groups, have been arrested under preventive detention for trying to disrupt the Olympic torch relay , reports Ravi Bajpai.Updated: Apr 18, 2008 02:23 IST
Amid tight security arrangements, Tibetan protesters could not manage to build up any major protest during the torch run on Rajpath on Thursday, police said.
Police said 267 protesters, operating in small groups, were arrested under preventive detention for trying to disrupt the run. The reasons were not hard to find.
The torch was guarded by eight-layers of checks, involving 17000 security personnel. The first three checks, with barricades and policemen, were put in place till the India Gate C Hexagon. Further two layers of barricades were put up leading to the Rajpath.
“Three further human chains guarded luminaries who carried the torch, the closest being that of Chinese commandos dressed in Blue and White tracksuits,” said an officer.
The second comprised personnel of Delhi police, army, NSG and paramilitary forces dressed in Blue and Red tracksuits. Indian Olympic Association officials formed the third layer.
Police said 190 protesters were arrested from 14 places near Rajpath, including Shah Jahan Road, Akbar Road and Janpath among others.
“We arrested 50 from near Le Meridien hotel, where the torch was kept. More than a dozen were picked up from near India Gate,” said an officer.
Protesters made desperate attempts to cause problems a few hours before the Olympic torch was to be taken to the Indira Gandhi International airport in the evening.
A bunch of protesters tried to enter the route to the airport, at Brar Square near Naraiana, but were arrested.