New Delhi: The Australian government, which consistently targeted the Delhi Commonwealth Games over security issues, on Friday got a taste of Indian security. Its Sports Minister Mark Arbib was stopped at the Games Village and made to walk to the country's residential block after being frisked, reports Indian Express.Security officials at the checkpoint outside the Village did not allow Arbib's car to enter as its driver did not have accreditation.
“In terms of security, just to give you a few observations, security is very tight and even I had trouble getting in,” Arbib later said at a press conference. “I got frisked, which is good. It means the Indian authorities are taking things very, very seriously,” he said.
He also met the Australian athletes and chef de mission Steve Moneghetti. “The feedback I got was overwhelmingly positive. The athletes are very positive about the facilities, very positive about the training facilities,” he said.
The officials were not on the defensive on frisking Arbib. “Sorry, there is no concession for anybody. If anybody does not have proper accreditation, he will have to go through the process,” Delhi Lt Governor Tejendra Khanna said.
The Australian government, led by Prime Minister Julia Gillard, had launched an offensive on the Delhi Commonwealth Games last month. On September 25, Gillard had said: “Our travel advice has made clear that there is high risk of terrorism in New Delhi.”
Mr Arbib is the Federal Government's representative at the Games, which have been overshadowed security, health and safety concerns. The Government's own travel advice warns of a high risk of terrorism in Delhi during the event, which officially opens on Sunday night.
When Mr Arbib's entourage pulled into the first of two security check points outside the athlete's village, police would not allow his car to enter. A Government adviser said this was because of an accreditation issue with the driver, reports ABC News.
"In terms of security, just to give you a few observations, security is very tight and even I had trouble getting in," he said at a press conference after eventually making it into the secured area. "That's probably a good thing. "I got frisked, which is good. "It means the Indian authorities are taking things very, very seriously."
Mr Arbib said he had met with about two dozen athletes inside the village during a tour with chef-de-mission Steve Moneghetti."The feedback I got was overwhelmingly positive," he said."The athletes are very positive about the facilities, very positive about the training facilities."
He added: "There is, as you can imagine, some issues about finishes in terms of venues, and particularly in terms of some of the sleeping quarters."But overall the athletes were happy."