Olympic torch run today, Delhi holds breath
Police fear Olympic relay may spark immolation bids; seal off Tibetan hubs, reports R Bajpai & N Khandekar.Traffic AdvisoryUpdated: Apr 17, 2008 03:01 IST
Flash protests, including self-immolation bids by Tibetan protesters will be the biggest concerns of security agencies, when the Olympic torch run takes place on Rajpath on Thursday afternoon.
<b1>“All patrol vehicles have been provided with blankets and fire extinguishers. Self-immolation bids by protesters are a major worry,” said a police officer.
A number of Tibetan groups in the city have their plans in place to lodge their protest against Chinese “atrocities” in Tibet and get noticed on this “crucial” day.
One such group, the Tibetan Solidarity Committee had sought permission to hold a parallel relay from Samta Sthal to Jantar Mantar, which was promptly turned down. Its members, however, said they plan to go ahead with the run.
Police said they suspected demonstrators might create disturbances in areas other than the venue. Tibetan hubs in the Capital, such as Majnu ka Tilla, Delhi University’s north and south campuses and Ashok Vihar, had been virtually sealed by late Wednesday and police were closely watching every movement.
There was no official word till Wednesday evening if the general public would be allowed to watch the relay, though selected schoolchildren will get this privilege. Police have confirmed one thing though — it’ll be a traffic nightmare.