Lalu, Akhilesh and Chattisgarh CM could lose Z plus security cover soon

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The Union Home Ministry’s current VIP security list is at an all-time high despite PM Modi’s constant narrative against a VIP culture. Senior officers said that the government is looking at reviewing the same and trimming it soon. Currently, the government sanctions for special security are as high as 475 as compared to the 350 protected by the previous Congress-led government.

“Some politicians are being provided security by NSG and also the paramilitary so some of them will lose their NSG cover,” a senior ministry official said.

One of the top politicians’ security is the RJD chief, Lalu Yadav, who is guarded by both the elite National Security Guard (NSG) and the paramilitary CRPF. Since he is no more a lawmaker and rarely moves out of his state now, his security is being reviewed, a report by NDTV quoted sources as saying.

Uttar Pradesh’s Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh of the BJP, M Karunanidhi, the 93-year-old leader of Tamil Nadu party the DMK, are also on the list of consideration for their security to be continued. However, former Deputy Prime Minister, L. K. Advani who does not hold any constitutional post now is protected by a Z plus security and is likely to retain the facilities.

All these politicians currently have the highest Z plus security, which the government gives to 50 people, each guarded by 35 to 40 security personnel at any given time. The number of Z security provided by the previous government had a list of 26.

Removing or scaling down security is easier said than done, sources said, with political pressure every time there is such a move. An officer said there are also many complaints that VIPs misbehave with the security staff.

Special security is provided by the Centre and state governments under several categories ranging from X to Z plus based on a threat perception that the government assesses from time to time; the difference is in the number of security personnel that protect the person. People with Z category security get 30 guards, while people with Y Plus security get 11.

All these politicians currently have the highest Z plus security, which the government gives to 50 people, each guarded by 35 to 40 security personnel at any given time. The previous government had a list of 26.

An officer stated, that there were also many complaints that VIPs misbehaved with the security staff and removing or scaling down security would be difficult to implement with political pressure each time.

Special security is provided by the Centre and state governments under several categories ranging from X to Z plus based on a threat perception that the government assesses from time to time; the difference is in the number of security personnel that protect the person. People with Z category security get 30 guards, while people with Y Plus security are given 11.

NSG officials say that at least 15 politicians are guarded by its black cat commandos, including Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. Incidently, government had withdrawn the NSG from the Assam chief minister’s security detail when the Congress’ Tarun Gogoi held the post, but restored it when Sonowal of the BJP took over.

Currently, the CRPF protects almost 75 VVIPs including BJP President Amit Shah and Minister of Road and Transport Nitin Gadkari. The CISF guards 75, including national security adviser Ajit Doval and minister of state for home, Kiren Rijiju, while the ITBP is assigned to protect 18 including Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and her predecessor, Omar Abdullah.

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