M A I N   N E W S

India allays China’s fears on torch safety

New Delhi, March 26
Already unhappy over pro-Tibet demonstrations in India, China has expressed its concern about the security of the Olympic torch during its passage through this country. China’s fears have brought forth an assurance from the government that proper protection would be given to the flame.

In the wake of Friday’s incident when a group of Tibetan protesters stormed its embassy, China is worried about the security of the Olympic torch that will go through India from April 17, sources told PTI.

China is not even ruling out bypassing the country if it’s not sure of foolproof protection, the sources said.

The Chinese embassy has taken up the issue of security for the torch with the Indian government and the matter is under discussion, the sources said.

Top officials of the embassy are engaged in talks with the authorities in the external affairs ministry and the Indian Olympic Association about ensuring proper security for the torch, they said.

Asked about China’s concern, national security adviser MK Narayanan told reporters that the government would “make all arrangements to ensure that the Olympic flame passes through India safely.”

The Chinese side, which was earlier appreciative of the security arrangements made by India at the embassy, has become doubtful about the protection of the torch after Friday’s incident.

Considering that the launch of the Olympic torch relay in Greece on Monday was marred by breach of security by Tibetans, China feels more apprehensive about its security during the Indian leg as the number of Tibetans in this country is manifold than that in Greece. — PTI



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