Gangtok: The Queen’s Baton, on the country-wide relay in the run-up to the Delhi Commonwealth Games, was today 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 on Saturday when the baton was on way from Gangtok to Nathula border after being handed over to the army at the circuit house.
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.