Police verification of Games volunteers has barely begun

Police have not set a deadline for the process and say verification is done as and when the Games organising committee sends in the names of volunteers. "We have set no deadline for the (completion of) verification of volunteers. We will keep on doing that till the organising committee continues to send us the forms. We are committed to completing the process at the earliest," Rajan Bhagat, spokesperson of Delhi Police, told IANS.

Bhagat also denied allegations that police were facing a staff crunch for verification of volunteers. "When we get a large number of applications, we distribute them among different branches so that verification is completed in time," said Bhagat.

According to Delhi Police, they are still receiving forms from the organising committee for verification of contractors, caterers, sponsors and others related to the sporting event.

All those who need to enter the Games venues during the Oct 3-14 event will be issued accreditation cards and no one will be allowed inside the venues without the cards, officials said. Bhagat said under no circumstances would any person be allowed inside a Games venue without a valid card.

In June, the organising committee had reduced the number of volunteers for the sporting event from an initial 30,000 to 22,000. Of those selected, only 19,724 turned up for training.

The selected volunteers have been imparted three days of intensive training in various aspects like medical assistance, disaster management, gender sensitivity, doping test and protocols.

According to senior officials, the special branch of police is handling the verification process. The character verification department in the branch is headed by an assistant commissioner of police and has one inspector and a few subordinates.

The special branch also carries out verification related to passports and character verification requests from public. As per police officials, the verification process is multi-layered. "We want everyone to be verified by police and then by the organising committee," said an official.

"We have carried out verification of even policemen who will be deployed inside stadia," he said. "All those who will go inside stadia, be it volunteers or artists, need to be verified."

While most contractors will get access to venues as per operational needs, some of them will be issued special passes, with multiple entry facility, according to the nature of their job function, said the official.

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