Security arrangements like house arrest: Khanna

Published: Tuesday, March 19, 2002, 2:00 [IST]
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Guwahati: The Indian team management on Monday joined cricket fans to express their displeasure at the strict security cover over the players and in hotel and the Nehru Stadium, the venue for Tuesday's series decider One-day match with Zimbabwe.

"The Brahmaputra hotel has virtually turned into a fortress and the players are in a kind of house arrest which is not good," Indian team manager Sunil Khanna told reporters on Monday. Terming 'very unfortunate' the scuffle involving ace spinner Harbhajan Singh and some policemen on duty in the hotel, Khanna said, "The fans have come to see the players and not the police." "Cricket is everybody's game and the ultimate enjoyment is in the match but no one wants such kind of security," the team manager said.

The entire city had been put under a strict security cover with the police distributing it into five security zones in view of the threat on some players including skipper Saurav Ganguly. The hotel has been barred for any visitor and even the photographers and journalists were not allowed to enquire about the happenings in the team. On Sunday a host of photographers who thronged to the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi airport when the players arrived were denied access to them. The photographers were barred from taking photographs and the players were whisked in seconds to the bus to be driven straight to the hotel. The strict security was also evident on Monday in the Nehru Stadium where the players went for a practise session.

Journalists and photographers covering the match were put in a safe distance even as some police officials were heard hurling abuses on the cricket fans who had gathered to see the players. The local media on Monday put up front-page stories on the alleged highhandedness of the police with one of them wondering "whether it was a cricket match or a police match".

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