NEW DELHI, Feb 21 – Security of several VIPs including former Union Ministers and Speaker Meira Kumar has been totally withdrawn, while the elite ‘Black Cat’ NSG commandos provided to Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh may be replaced by CRPF, reports PTI.
Surprisingly, Saradha scam accused Matang Sinh, who was recently arrested by the CBI, continues to enjoy Z-plus security in 14 states including seven north-eastern states, official sources said.
At a meeting recently, chaired by Union Home Secretary LC Goyal, it was decided in-principle to withdraw NSG commandos from Raman Singh, who faces Maoist threat, and hand over all his security to CRPF, which is deployed in large numbers in Chhattisgarh.
RJD Supermo Lalu Prasad’s NSG cover may also be withdrawn soon and replaced by either of the para-military forces, the sources said, adding Lalu will get Z-plus security in Delhi and Bihar only.
The meeting, in which the threat perception relating to the protectees was assessed, also decided that persons like Punjab’s former top cop KPS Gill and Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari and Jitendra Singh will enjoy Z-plus security throughout the country.
In Z-plus category, 24 to 36 personnel with automatic weapons are on guard round-the-clock whereas in Z category, the number of persons varies from 16 to 20.
Former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar is in the list of VIPs whose security has been withdrawn completely. Others include Congress leaders Manish Tewari and Sriprakash Jaiswal. Both of them were Z category protectees.
The Centre has also decided to withdraw security to Congress leaders Rita Bahuguna Joshi, Jitin Prasada, PL Punia and Salim Sherwani.
Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani will continue to be provided with Z category security in Maharashtra, while Kerala Governor and former Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam will have similar cover for the first time.
BJP president Amit Shah will continue to enjoy Z-plus security throughout the country except in Delhi, while party leaders and Union Ministers Syed Shahnawaz Hussain and Rajiv Pratap Rudy will continue to be provided with Z security. Another Minister Radha Mohan Singh will get Z security for the first time.
BJP MLA from Saharanpur Suresh Rana and Sangeet Som, who are accused in the Muzzafarnagar riots, have now been provided Z category security. Controversial BJP MP Yogi Adiyanath from Gorakhpur has also been provided Y category security, in which he will be guarded by four security personnel.
Security of Amar Singh, Beni Prasad Verma and RPN Singh has been downgraded from Z-plus to Y.
Jharkhand Vikas Morcha leader Babulal Marandi and former CRPF chief K Vijay Kumar have now been included in the Z+ security cover of Central security forces.
Jammu and Kashmir BJP leader Lal Singh and yoga exponent Ramdev have been accorded Z category security along with Union Minister Babul Supriyo (in West Bengal).
West Bengal BJP president Rahul Sinha has been accorded a ‘Y’ category security while Lok Janshakti Party MP and Ramvilas Paswan’s son Chirag has been accorded the same security cover.
BSP MP Satish C Mishra’s son Kapil has also been included in the VIP security category with the lowest ‘X’ category provided to him by central security forces.
BJP leader Subramaniam Swamy has been accorded ‘Z’ security by CRPF when in travels in south Indian states.