- The Washington Times - Monday, March 16, 2009

NEW DELHI (AP) - India’s federal government will form a special task force for the security of athletes and spectators at next year’s Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, local media reported Monday.

The union government had decided to form a special task force comprising officials from several security agencies for the biggest sports event the country will stage since New Delhi hosted the 1982 Asian Games, the Times of India newspaper reported.

The interior ministry had already made provisions for an extra 5,000 places in the New Delhi police to enhance security during the Commonwealth Games, scheduled for Oct. 3-14 next year.

Security concerns about the safety of athletes have heightened in the wake of a terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka cricket team in neighboring Pakistan, but organizers have insisted that security planning for the Commonwealth Games was on track.

“We’re fully geared up to provide adequate security to the athletes and spectators at the Commonwealth Games,” Indian Olympic Association’s secretary general, Randhir Singh, said.

The London-based Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) has also emphasized that security planning was on course, and was being periodically reviewed by the CGF’s security advisers.

The organizing committee will test security during a series of trial events in the run-up to the multi-sports event.

New Delhi was chosen to host the 2010 Commonwealth Games after several failed bids, becoming only the second Asian city to be stage the games. Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, hosted the 1998 edition.

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