475 VIPs, Highest Ever, Are About To Get Special Security; Govt Looking To Trim List
The Modi government had sanctioned special security to 475 people to signal VIP status despite Modi’s firm drive against VIP culture, as reported by NDTV. This is in contrast to the 350 protected by the previous Congress-led government.
A senior official reportedly said the government intends to review and trim the security covers of this all-time high list who are being provided security by NSG and also the paramilitary.
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. People with Z category security get 30 guards, while people with Y Plus security get 11.
Bihar’s ex-CM Lalu Yadav who was guarded by both the NSG and the paramilitary force is no more eligible to get the Z security, as he doesn’t get fit in the recent criteria of government. The reasons cited are that he is no longer a legislator and rarely moves outside the state.
It would be the same for former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh of BJP. Security provisions of M Karunanidhi, the 93-year-old leader of Tamil Nadu party the DMK, who is ill and barely moves out of his home, is also under review.
The new criteria allows yoga teacher Baba Ramdev and spiritual leader Mata Amritanandamayi to get Z security, while Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, the chairman of Ram Janmabhoomi Shrine Board along with controversial lawmaker Sakshi Maharaj is protected under the Y category. 30 policemen and paramilitary personnel will be assigned to those under the Z security.
In addition to this, the children of at least 15 politicians were given NSG guard including Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s son Pankaj Singh, who is a first-time lawmaker.
At least 15 politicians are guarded by NSG black cat commandos, including Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, NSG officials said. The NSG was withdrawn from the Assam chief minister’s security detail when the Congress’ Tarun Gogoi held the post but restored it when Mr Sonowal of the BJP took over.
The CRPF secures almost 75 VVIPS, including BJP President Amit Shah and Minister of Road and Transport Nitin Gadkari. The CISF protects 75, including national security adviser Ajit Doval and Minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju, while the ITBP shields 18, including Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and her predecessor Omar Abdullah.
The Logical Indian community urges the government, which is in contrast to the Prime Minister’s anti-VIP culture stance, to review the security provisions and allot the right kind of protection to those who are in actual need of it.