Gangtok: The Queen?s Baton, on the
country-wide relay in the run-up to the Delhi Commonwealth
Games, was on Sunday handed over to the Darjeeling administration
after remaining `untraced` for about two hours during the
Sikkim leg the day before.
A Sikkim Police official today said the baton was
ceremonially handed over to the West Bengal counterpart at the
Rangpo check-post at around 10:30am, after the Sikkim leg.
This was preceded by high drama for over two hours
yesterday when the baton was on way from Gangtok to Nathula
border after being handed over to the army at the circuit
Shortly after the baton reached Kupup Golf Course at
12:30 pm, QBR Director from New Delhi Colonel Kuldeep Singh
went to Sunshine Point near `Baba Mandir`, three km away from
Singh`s vehicle, with the baton along with six QBR members
apparently keeping other accompanying civil and security
officials in dark, the official said.
Finally Singh, who was spotted with the baton at
Sunshine point, was asked to come down and the wand was
brought back to Thegu near Sherathang trade mart at around
2:45 pm for being handed over to Sikkim Olympic Association.
"What happened was not in the itinerary," an official
of the Sikkim QBR Nodal Officer H K Karki told reporters referring
to Singh`s trip to Baba Mandir with the baton.
An unfazed Singh, however, maintained he had gone to
display the baton to local villagers since it belongs to the
people and had the right to `feel the object`, but instead
they were being kept at bay during official function.
Sikkim Olympic Association President P K Pradhan said
the baton was the responsibility of the Delhi QBR,
Commonwealth Games team.