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CWG 2010 Queen's baton arrives in India
Last Updated : 25 Jun 2010 05:42:26 AM IST



AMRITSAR: Marking the first big event on Indian soil for the 2010 Commonwealth Games (CWG) to be held in New Delhi in October, the Queen's baton for the event arrived at the Attari border between India and Pakistan.The Queen's Baton for the XIX Commonwealth Games in Delhi entered India from Pakistan .

The security has been beefed up at Attari-Wagah border, 35 km from Amritsar, on the eve of the arrival of the Queen’s Baton Relay for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.Over the next 100 days, the baton will travel to 28 tates and seven union territories covering 20,000 km and touching almost every corner of the country entering Delhi on September 30, on the eve of the 19th Commonwealth Games, beginning on October 3.


Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Suresh Kalmadi, other dignitaries and leading sports personalities, including host city New Delhi's Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, were in attendance at the border outpost as the baton was handed over by Pakistan's Olympic Association officials led by Lt. Gen Arif Hassan.

The Attari border checkpost, about 30 km from Amritsar in Punjab, wore a colourful and festive look despite tight security arrangements for the baton arrival event. Popular song "Chak de, India" was played at the checkpost since morning to welcome the baton.

Hundreds of people, officials and mediapersons gathered here for the arrival of the baton.

'Bhangra' and 'Gidda' dancers, performers from Rajasthan and other states, traditional music instruments and security bands added to the festive atmosphere at the border checkpost as the baton arrived in India.

Sufi singers Wadali brothers and popular singer, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, performed at the ceremony to mark its arrival.

At Wagah, Olympic bronze medallist boxer Vijender Singh and women’s world boxing champion MC Mary Kom would carry the baton once Pakistan Olympic Association president Syed Arif Hasan hand over the QBR to his Indian counterpart Suresh Kalmadi .

The Indian leg of the relay will kick-start at Amritsar. It will subsequently travel to Jalandhar, Patiala and Pathankote before returning to Chandigarh via Jammu.

The baton was launched by Queen Elizabeth II from Buckingham Palace in London on October 29 last year in presence of Indian President Pratibha Patil at a formal

The baton would have covered 1,70,000 km and travelled through 70 Commonwealth nations before reaching India. The baton will pass through various cities of Punjab before moving to other states.

BSF has beefed up the security at the Attari border while police too are taking measures to ensure that the event passes off smoothly.

"We are taking all precautions. The security measures that we are going to put in place for the mega event will be over and above the normal measures we take," BSF's Inspector General of Punjab Frontier, Himmat Singh told the reporters.

He said the BSF would take the help of police to ensure security. Asked if there were any inputs of threat in the wake of the ceremony, he said, "there are no such inputs. But we cannot take any chances. We have also increased patrolling and are taking all precautions".

Source: IANS, Other Agencies, Staff Reporters
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