New Delhi: US business leader and philanthropist Bill Gates' visit to the Planning Commission on Wednesday was marred by a scuffle between his security staff and media personnel.
Yojana Bhawan, the seat of Planning Commission, was locked down for media. It was out of bounds for government- accredited journalists too, even before Gates arrived to meet planning body's Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia at around 1 pm.
As photographers started clicking the Microsoft founder entering Yojana Bhawan, Gates' personal security staff shoved a lensman. As Gates emerged out of the building after his meeting with Ahluwalia, the media contingent tried to way-stop him.
Gates' call to his security personnel not to push went unheeded and a minor scuffle followed between the American security personnel and mediapersons.
The weapon carrying security personnel pushed journalists, who retaliated with more pushes and shoves.
Media personnel protested their not being allowed inside the building despite holding PIB cards that allow accredited journalists to enter most of the government offices.
Even Planning Commission's spokesperson N N Kaul was not allowed in initially. He had to wait in the lobby area for about ten minutes before he was let in.
CISF Commanding Officer at Yojana Bhawan Gajendar Singh said they have acted on the behest of orders received from their higher ups in not allowing media to enter the building.
However, Singh could not produce any written order that says mediapersons' entry was restricted in view of Gates' visit.
Gates is also expected to meet Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal later in the evening.
First Published: Wednesday, May 29, 2013, 18:03