Wednesday, October 06, 2010


Security guards at the Commonwealth Games have been accused of failing to return items confiscated from spectators.
The latest victim is the wife of writer William Dalrymple, who was forced by security to hand over items including a purse and iPod before entering the tennis venue.

Olivia Fraser left the RK Khanna stadium empty-handed after she refused to rummage through a rubbish bin where guards had dumped her belongings.

It follows reports that £100,000 of coins confiscated in advance of Sunday's opening ceremony has gone missing.

Organisers have also been accused of inconsistency in the security checks and searches carried out on spectators entering venues.

Delhi police said there was a list of 44 banned items but that iPods and make- up did not feature on it. They admitted no definitive arrangements were in place to register seized items.

Artist Ms Fraser, who lives in Delhi, said: "Some female security personnel at the entry gates made us empty our purses of everything - lipsticks, pens, coins, iPods - when we entered stadium. They said they'd remember us and give us the stuff back. But when we came out two hours later, they were gone and so was all the stuff. The whole experience was upsetting. When we asked for our things, an official put a couple of rubbish cans in front of us and asked us to sift through them. We decided not to and walked away."

The parents of an unnamed England athlete were forced to miss the opening ceremony when attempts were made to seize their video camera and they decided to return to their hotel from the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

Volunteers complained that souvenir water bottles, presented to them as gifts with their uniforms for helping organisers, had also been taken by security officers.

Controversy which marred the build up to the Games has continued. The running track was damaged during the opening ceremony and crowds have been sparse - despite official claims that "long queues" were forming for tickets.

Games Federation president Mike Fennell said: "Repair work has been completed at the athletics stadium... all systems are go."