Determined team work secured Commonwealth Games: Officials

By George Joseph, IANS,

New Delhi : Determined and dedicated team work right from the prime minister and the security agencies to the constable on the streets, besides high-tech systems including radars and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), ensured a safe and trouble-free Commonwealth Games, officials say.

Support TwoCircles

“The entire government, from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to the constable on the road, took it as a mission to ensure security during the Games. Our senior minister (P. Chidambaram) directed the steps and personally supervised the arrangements,” Minister of State for Home Mullappally Ramachandran told IANS.

“The result is seen on the ground. The same foreign media and diplomats that had cast doubts over India’s capability to conduct safe Games, is praising us now,” Ramachandran said.

A senior official said that while Delhi Police was the face of the security arrangements, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel, National Security Guard(NSG) commandos and other paramilitary forces were also on ground duty for the Oct 3-14 Games.

Intelligence inputs from various agencies and high-tech surveillance and security systems deployed by armed forces were “vital invisible factors” behind the success of the Games that saw the participation of around 6,700 athletes and officials from 71 countries and territories.

The home ministry had the prime responsibility for security and ran a 24×7 control room at its North Block office during the entire 12-day period, the official added.

“But it was an effort in team work too. There was good co-ordination with the Prime Minister’s Office and the armed forces,” he added.

Cabinet Secretary K.M. Chandrasekharan also reviewed the Games arrangements frequently.

The mega sporting event witnessed large-scale deployment of security forces. Delhi Police chief Y.S. Dadwal had said that 28,000 state policemen and 20,000 CRPF personnel were deployed for Games duties at the 11 CWG venues, the Games Village and other key locations.

Most of the remaining force of 50,000 Delhi Police personnel were also on general security duty for the Games, sources said.

The Delhi Police had several new additions – 12,000 new recruits and 123 dogs in their dog squad – before the Games, police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat said.

Some 1,500 commandos – from the NSG, paramilitary forces and Delhi Police – were deployed at the stadiums and the Village, officials said.

But the Games will be most remembered for its high-tech systems and equipment, the official said.

“Anyone who visited the stadiums might have been surprised by not only the large number of checks but the sophisticated nature of the mechanical and electronic checks,” he said.

For the first time in India, devices to detect CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) assaults were also deployed at key venues.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) deployed its sophisticated radars to scan the Delhi skies while UAVS kept a watch for air intrusions. IAF helicopters also hovered over the spacious Village that housed the sportspersons.

“And you might have seen a number of civilians idling in your colonies, markets and Metro trains…They were our plainclothes people,” a senior police officer said.

“That the Games would be held amidst the political atmosphere created by a court verdict on the Ramjanmabhumi-Babri Masjid dispute did alert us. But we were determined to face the situation,” Minister Ramachandran said.