In the aftermath of the 26/11 attacks, Delhi Police pushed hard for a special law seeking wide-ranging powers to ensure foolproof security during the Commonwealth Games but the idea did not find favour either with the Union Home Ministry or the city government.
Arguing that the city could be an attractive target for terror groups during the event, police first approached the Home Ministry to frame such a legislation seeking powers like taking people into preventive custody and carry out raids in Noida, Ghaziabad and other satellite towns of neighbouring states.
When the Home Ministry turned down the request, Delhi Police approached the city government if it could do something on its demand. But the city government also expressed its inability to pursue the matter, saying law and order in Delhi comes under the Home Ministry.
“The proposal was struck down by the Union Home Ministry as well as the Delhi Government,” a top official in city’s home department told PTI.
The official said the city police sought granting of special powers to it till the event was over and even cited example of a legislation enacted by authorities in Melbourne just ahead of the Commonwealth Games there in 2006.
“The police, citing possible terror attacks in the city, said they needed more power to ensure foolproof security during and in the run-up to the mega sporting event,” the official, who wished not to be named, said.
He said the legislation enacted by the Victorian government had given police powers like removing people from any part of a Games venue or access areas without arresting them or detaining people to restore public order.
The Home Ministry and Delhi Police are already working on a massive security plan for the Games -- the biggest sporting event to be held in India -- which includes deployment of heli-borne snipers and a four-layered protective cordon around the venues and Games Village.
The Home Ministry has given highest priority to the security of the October 3-14 sporting extravaganza.
Although there is no credible threat to the Games, still the government is taking all precautions as any attempt to target any sports person or official by terrorists may have international repercussion.
Around 9,000 athletes from 71 countries besides 100,000 international spectators are expected to participate in the Games.