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Vehicles take detour as drama surrounds Queen`s baton

Lucknow: In a high drama involving the Commonwealth Games Queen`s baton, five vehicles in the relay on way to Rae Bareli took a detour and reached Sahara Shahar here today, keeping district officials on tenterhooks.

Apprehending the vehicles, which took detour, might be
carrying the official Queen`s baton, the police and district
officials chased and intercepted them near Indira barrage in
Gomti Nagar area in Uttar Pradesh capital.

The drama ended after the Queen`s Baton Relay said the
baton taken to Sahara Shahar was only a prototype and not the
original one.

The QBR team, led by Additional Director General Lt.
Gen. (Retd) Raj Kadyan, later expressed regrets for the
incident.

When the baton left for Rae Bareli district from the
state capital, five vehicles took a detour and headed towards
Sahara Sahar.

Taken aback, the officials chased the vehicles and
intercepted them. However, the occupants changed vehicles and
managed to reach Sahara Shahar.

Meantime, District Magistrate Anil Sagar and DIG Rajiv
Krishna rushed towards Rae Bareli to look for the original
baton.

The confusion ended when it was found the baton taken
to Sahara Shara was a prototype.

Later, the DM summoned Kadyan and his team members who
regretted the entire incident.

The DM said the team clarified in writing the baton
taken to Sahara Shahar was only a replica of the original one.
"They said the prototype was taken to Sahara Shahar as
Subrata Roy was the chairman of protocol sub-committee of the
CWG," he said.

"Last night, the administration was approached seeking
permission to take the baton to Sahara Shahar which was denied
as it was not possible to change the programme at the last
minute," the DM said.

He said he would write to the Union government about
the entire incident.

Kadyan said he was not aware his vehicles were being
chased by the police.

"We were only told not to use the official vehicles.
Therefore, we took a private vehicle," he said.

"There was some misunderstanding and lack of
communication. We have clarified our stand in writing," Kadyan
said.

He said the prototype was not taken to Sahara Shahr
as such but to the residence of a CWG sub-committee chairman.

Corporate Communication Sahara India Pariwar head
Abhijeet Sarkar said the Queen`s baton relay had arrived at
Sahara Shahar on the instruction of the organizing committee
of the Commonwealth Games.

He said the organising committee relay members called
on Roy in the evening with the baton which they had brought
with them.

PTI

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