India convenes meeting of Commonwealth countries envoys on Sept 9

By NNN-Bernama,

New Delhi : India has convened a meeting of Heads of Missions of 71 Commonwealth countries in India’s national capital New Delhi on September 9 to allay their security fears for the 2010 games here, the Press Trust of India (PTI) reported.

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The meeting comes in the backdrop of lurking security concerns that made the English team to withdraw from World Badminton meet in Hyderabad and the terror attack on Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore earlier this year.

Top security experts in the country will brief the envoys about the steps being taken by the government to ensure foolproof security during the fortnight-long extravaganza so that they could convey the message back home, a top India Home Ministry official said Friday.

India Home Minister P Chidambaram is likely to address the Heads of Missions at the meeting.

A two-day meeting of security commanders of the Commonwealth countries will also be held here on September 23 and 24 for a similar exercise.

“Security commanders of the 71 participating nations will meet on September 23-24 to discuss security measures for the athletes, games officials and visitors. We will brief them the details security plan and how we intend to protect each guest,” the official said.

India Home Secretary G K Pillai will address the meeting on September 24.

Home Ministry sources said the government did not want to take any chance on security matters in the prestigious games particularly after the England team withdrew from the World Badminton Championships in Hyderabad early this month following reported threat of terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba.

“A lot of issues, particularly country’s prestige, are involved with the game. We do not want any situation where any country can think of pulling out of the Commonwealth games. That is why we are taking precautionary steps much ahead of the games,” the official said.

The government is also taking note of the brazen terror attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore on March 3 which left eight persons dead and over 20 others injured.

Last month Delhi Lieutenant Governor Tejinder Khanna briefed the Commonwealth Games Federation about steps being taken to strengthen security in the city in the run up to the sporting event.

The Commonwealth nations’ security agency ‘Intelligence Risk’ also submits regular reports on the steps taken by the host country (India) for ensuring safe and secure environment for the Games.