Delhi under multi-layered security cover as Torch arrives

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New Delhi, Apr 17 (UNI) As the Olympic Torch arrived here, the national capital was turned into a virtual fortress with unprecedented security blanket thrown in and around the relay venue amid fears of disruption by Tibetan or human rights groups.

Immediately after the torch landed in India, around 30 Tibetans assembled outside high-security Le Meridian Hotel, where the Torch has been kept, near Rajpath, the venue for the Olympic torch relay and shouted anti-China slogans.

While trying to break the police barricade outside the hotel, where the torch has been kept, the protestors raised 'Justice for Tibet' and 'We want freedom' at about 0330 hrs.

Police and Rapid Action Force personnel pushed them back and detained some.

The torch, which arrived at around 0110 hrs from Islamabad, was carried off the plane by Indian Olympic Association chief Suresh Kalmadi.

Several security agencies are working in tandem to guard against the possibilities of disruption by the exiled community.

Traffic will be filtered in and around the Rajpath area from 1400 hrs. ''Expect major pile ups as it is a working day... traffic restrictions are in place as far as Aurobindo Chowk and Mathura Road,'' Jt CP (Traffic) S N Srivastava said.

Taking lessons from the disruption of the relay in Paris and London where the organisers were forced to put out the torch, a multi-layered security cage has been thrown around the area.

A mixed team of NSG's Black Cat commandos and Delhi Police will form the core layer of the security.

The CRP, ITBP and Delhi Armed Police have already cordoned off an area of 300 meters around the main event venue.

While Tibetans have been allowed to hold a parallel torch relay near Jantar Mantar, they will not be allowed ''at any cost'' to breach the Delhi Police-CRP joint cordon near Jantar Mantar.

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