News / Asia

World Hockey Cup to Test India's Security for Big Sports Events

Pakistan's field hockey team has arrived in India for the sport's World Cup that begins Sunday (Feb. 28).   The team bus crossed the border amid security concerns for major athletic events in India.

Just after the 18-man team crossed the border on its way to the Indian capital, Pakistani squad manager Muhammad Asif Bajwa told reporters New Delhi is a safe place to compete.  He said terrorism is not just an issue for India and Pakistan.

Bajwa says the Delhi police chief and the India Hockey Federation addressed all security concerns.  Thus Pakistan, he points out, was the first to decide to participate in the tournament.

The Pakistani team, along with Australia and New Zealand, had reassessed the trip to India following a purported threat by a Pakistan-based terror group.   

An e-mail to Asia Times Online, said to be from the 313 brigade, linked to the militant Laskhar-e-Taiba and al-Qaida, warned foreign athletes not to compete in the hockey tournament, next month's India Premier League cricket or the Commonwealth Games, scheduled for October.

Australia's hockey team arrived early Monday.  Canada and New Zealand are expected within the next day.  But one of the top players from New Zealand, Simon Child, is not coming, complaining the heavy security is not the "ideal environment" for competing.

India Home Secretary Gopal Krishna Pillai says there is "no credible threat" against any sporting events in the country.  He terms the Hockey World Cup a test run for the type of security that will be implemented at the Commonwealth Games - the largest multi-sport event India will have ever hosted.

Pillai did not rule out the possibility that terror elements, during a high-profile athletic competition, might attempt to cause distraction by carrying out an attack similar to the February 13th bombing at a bakery in Pune that led to 15 deaths.

"They can have a nuisance value by doing something like the Pune blast and try to put something somewhere and try to create a scare, as such," said Pillai.
 
Placing special emphasis on security arrangements for October's Commonwealth Games, the home secretary, flanked by top police officials, spoke of India's long experience with ensuring the safety of visitors, noting religious gatherings that regularly attract millions of people.

But Indian government officials acknowledge competitions such as the Commonwealth Games' marathon and cycling events will be a special challenge because they will not take place in closed, controlled spaces.

Officials are declining to disclose the size of their security force for the Commonwealth Games, but revealed it will range from the Indian Air Force protecting the capital's aviation flight corridors to food tasters for athletes' meals.

The Games' are expected to attract 8,000 athletes from nearly all the British Commonwealth countries, as well as at least 100,000 visitors.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs