New Delhi: Even as pro-Tibet protests gain momentum in Delhi, a special Air China plane carrying the Olympic flame touched down at the Indira Gandhi International Airport at 1 am on Thursday.
The flame, travelling from Islamabad to New Delhi, was handed over to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) Chief Suresh Kalmadi by China Olympic Committee officials, amidst the presence of a huge delegation of IOA officials and security personnel.
However, as the arrival of the torch was being celebrated by traditional Indian dances, Tibetans in exile protested outside the airport.
Police arrested nearly 50 protesting Tibetans from Dhaula Kuan area of the capital during the early hours of Thursday.
At midnight, people from the Tibetan Youth Congress charged down the route on which the torch was supposed to travel.
Around 20 protestors from Students for Free Tibet group tried to breach security cordon at the Le Meridian.
Meanwhile, the authorities are busy sprucing up the security arrangements for the torch relay.
Rajpath is being turned into a virtual fortress for the 2.3-km Olympic torch run.
The government has decided to implement a three-layer security ring for the run and Rajpath will be sealed for six hours starting 1 pm.
Security at the Chinese embassy in Chanakyapuri has also been stepped up after about 60 people attempted to storm inside.
Speaking on Wednesday, the new Sports Minister M S Gill said there will be no repeat of the scenes from London and Paris.
"I’m sure the government will ensure that the security cover during the torch relay is up to mark,” Gill assured.
The relay is expected to see 70 celebrities, including 47 sports persons.