India promises Commonwealth Games will be safe

The embattled chief organiser of the Delhi Commonwealth Games told Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Monday that the event would be safe and that a weekend gun attack in the Indian capital was not related to the showpiece.

“Yesterday’s [Sunday] shooting was a one-off incident which was not targeted at the Games,” said Suresh Kalmadi, organising committee chairperson for the event, which will see 7 000 athletes and officials in New Delhi from October 3 to 14

“All security measures for the athletes and tourists who will be coming for the Games are well taken care of. I assure that,” he added in an interview with AFP.

Two attackers on a motorbike shot and wounded a pair of Taiwanese sightseers outside New Delhi’s main mosque on Sunday in an attack that was claimed by an Indian Islamist group.

The assurance came hours after Australia, in a stark travel warning, said there was a “high risk of terrorism” during the event.

Games chief Kalmadi said all participants — 71 countries and territories mainly from the former British empire — were satisfied with security arrangements.

“All Commonwealth Games countries understand the security arrangements made by us in India are satisfactory and security advisers of various countries in India too are satisfied with the arrangements,” Kalmadi said.

Intensified security efforts
The Indian police, meanwhile, said they had intensified security and were probing the weekend attack, which was claimed by the Indian Mujahideen militant group in an email sent to several media outlets late on Sunday night.

New Delhi police spokesperson, Rajan Bhagat, speaking to AFP rejected the group’s claim.

“No organised gang or group is involved. The email which BBC and India TV received is not linked to the blasts, it has no signs of being the handiwork of the Indian Mujahideen,” Bhagat said.

The Times of India on Monday said police had shut down public parking lots at 470 locations in New Delhi as a precaution against possible attacks during the Games, India’s biggest sporting event since the Asian Games in 1982. — AFP

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