Centre reviews security measures for Beijing Olympic torch

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New Delhi, Mar 31 (UNI) To allay China's apprehensions over the security of the Olympic torch, reaching India on Apirl 17, following Tibetan protests, the Union Home Ministry today held a high-level meeting to decide about the measures to ensure its safety.

Union Home Secretaryi Madhukar Gupta chaired a meeting of senior officials of the ministry to review the security arrangements for the Olympic torch relay.

The meeting was attended, among others, by Delhi Police Commissioner Y S Dadhwal, senior officials of the Delhi Government and representatives of the Indian Olympic Association.

Earlier, Chinese envoy Zhang Yan had met Home Minister Shivraj Patil on March 27, and urged him to take steps to provide proper security cover to the Beijing Olympic torch during its run in India.

China apprehends threat to the Olympic torch from Tibetan protestors who had earlier barged into its embassy here.

The envoy had already raised the matter of safety of the Olympic torch with the External Affairs Ministry and the Indian Olympic Association here. National Security Advisor M K Narayanan has assured the neighbouring country that the Indian government would provide full security to the torch.

Today's meeting is significant in view of former Defence Minister George Fernandes calling for India to stay away from the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Mr Fernandes, when asked if India should boycott the Olympics, said, ''Both...the Olympics and the Chinese goods''.

However, CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan has said the country should take all steps to ensure safety the Olympic torch as it was a prestigious international event and everyone should support it.

UNI AJ KD AS1923

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