With PTI inputs
New Delhi, Apr 17: The Olympic torch landed in Delhi just after 1 am on Thursday. Indian Olympic Association president Suresh Kalmadi and Chinese envoy Zhang Yan were at the airport to receive the flame.
Children, dressed in colourful clothes, were also present amid unprecedented security.
Chinese citizens living here were out in full force to welcome the flame. Colourful banners greeted members of the International Olympic Committee and the Chinese contingent as they made their way out of the airport.
The torch, which is 72-centimetre long and weighs 985 grams, was flown to the capital in a specially designed flight from Islamabad, its last stop before New Delhi.
However, the Tibetan protestors were undeterred. Around 30 of them assembled outside the Le Meridian hotel in New Delhi, where the Olympic torch is supposedly kept, on Thursday morning and began to shout anti-China slogans at around 3.30 am.
In the first protest after the torch's arrival, the protesters, shouting slogans like 'Justice for Tibet' and 'We want freedom', tried to break the barricades put on the road.
Security forces, present on the scene, immediately chased them away and even detained some of the protesters, a senior police official said.
Earlier, 32 Tibetans blocked the road near Army Research and Referral hospital near Dhaula Kuan in southwest Delhi at around 1 am, just before the arrival of the torch.
The torch run begins at 4 pm on Thursday. But, the most challenging part ahead of India is - will it end peacefully?