Other Sports

Venues under security blanket

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The riot of khaki and fatigues overshadowed the bright adornments promoting the slogan of the games: ‘Play for Peace, Progress and Prosperity’.

A canopy of unprecedented security was spread over the venues of the 12th South Asian Games as the organisers of the first major international multi-sport event in the North East sought to plug the possibilities of any breach.

With two more days to go for the opening ceremony, a security blanket comprising around 11,600 personnel was thrown around the 12 venues and 86 hotels and guest-houses that will host the athletes and officials of the eight participating nations, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, the Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka and host India.

The riot of khaki and fatigues overshadowed the bright adornments promoting the slogan of the games: ‘Play for Peace, Progress and Prosperity’.

The roads leading to the stadiums and the hotels were lined with festoons and billboards featuring the mascot, Tikhor, in different attitudes championing the spirit and the enthusiasm surrounding the event.

The local police and the central paramilitary are at the core of the arrangements to secure around 4,500 athletes and the officials, who have started arriving at the venue.

On the outer periphery are Army and Air Force personnel, who have been kept on alert considering the various threats existing in the region which often sees political unrest.

The Pakistan contingent arrived in batches, with around 180 athletes making it to the venue till the evening. The athletes from other countries started arriving couple of days earlier.

The Union Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who is also an MP from the state, had been overseeing the preparations with keen interest along with Assam Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi, who is the chief patron of the Assam Olympic Association.

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Printable version | Dec 16, 2019 12:46:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/12th-south-asian-games-venues-under-security-blanket/article8189686.ece

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