Maharashtra wants Centre to reschedule Games` baton arrival in state

Mumbai: Citing preoccupation of policemen due to festive season next month, the Maharashtra Government has requested the Centre to reschedule the arrival of Queen`s baton relay for the upcoming Commonwealth Games.

The baton is expected to arrive in Pune in September 9 and would be in the city on the 11th. While Eid will be celebrated on September 10, the ten-day-long Ganesh festival will start from September 11.

In a letter written to Union Home Ministry, state Home Department has informed that it was difficult to provide `enough` police strength for the baton`s security as the force was needed for the festival season.

"We have communicated the possible difficulties in providing security to the baton during the festival season. We need full police force to ensure peaceful celebrations of festivals," said Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Chandra Iyengar.

It would be convenient if the arrival of the baton is postponed by at least ten days by the organisers, she said adding, "on or after September 20, it would be fine."

The Union Home Ministry has recently sounded an alert against possible terror attacks across the country, especially in major metropolitan cities, during the festival season.

According to the officials, Intelligence inputs have been received that banned terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) was planning to carry out attacks in the national capital and other major cities including Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore, as well as in Kerala.


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