Flags, musical instruments, balloons, whistles and torn papers which add to the 'masala' in the gallery are among the prohibited items. Fans are also not allowed to carry pens, pencils and even coins, a senior police official said. Binoculars, cameras and laser lights are also in the list of the prohibited items, he said. Spectators were in for a rude shock on Sunday, the first day of the tournament, when police prevented them from taking even coins, pens or pencils inside the stadium, fearing that they might be thrown at players. "We have been given a list of prohibited items. We cannot take any chance, so we did not allow anyone to carry coins, pens or pencils," the official said. However, fans cried foul and they feel that such measures are taking away the charm of watching a match in a stadium. Says an avid hockey fan Sarabjit Singh, "without a flag or a whistle, what is the fun in watching a match. Nobody likes to watch a match like attending a funeral. This is security paranoia."
Another fan Mukesh Kumar said this kind of security arrangements are taking the thrill away. The list of prohibited items also include alcohol, cans, bottles, firearms, knife and other sharp-edged items, match box, crackers, umbrella, cameras, sprays and perfumes. Any other item that could cause harm or public nuisance as determined by security personnel on threat perception could also be prohibited, the official said. "There will be no facility to keep the prohibited items at the entry point and confiscated items will not be returned to the owner after the game," they said. PTI