Centre undertakes mega review of VIP security; Lalu, Akhilesh lose cover
New Delhi, Jul 23 (PTI) The Centre has removed the VIP security cover of several politicians and lawmakers, including RJD boss Lalu Prasad and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, while it has scaled down the protection category of many others after reviewing over 130 cases, official sources said Tuesday.
This is the first full-scale review of VIP protectees by the Union home ministry after the Modi 2.0 government took charge.
Sources said the top level ‘Z+’ category NSG cover of former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, ‘Z’ cover of former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad, BJP MP and former minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy, former BJP members Kirti Azad and Shatrughan Sinha, newly- appointed Himachal Pradesh Governor Kalraj Mishra, former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, two granddaughters and a grandson of former President Pranab Mukherjee, daughter and grandson of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been taken off from the central list or has been removed.
These VIPs were being secured by the armed commandos of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) like the CRPF, CISF, the elite counter-terror force NSG and the Delhi Police.
Others whose security has been withdrawn include minister in Uttar Pradesh government Suresh Rana, Member of Parliament from Bihar’s Vaishali seat Veena Devi, ex-MP from the state Uday Singh, Uttar Pradesh minister Brajesh Pathak, BJP politician Anupam Hazra, ISRO Chairman K Sivan, former scientific adviser R Chidambaram and Congress leader Deependra Hooda.
BJP Rajya Sabha MP O P Mathur; Achrya Pramod Krishnam, who unsuccessfully contested from the Lucknow parliamentary seat on a Congress ticket; RSS leader Indresh Kumar; former BJP MP Udit Raj; and sitting BJP MP from Etawah Ram Shankar Katheria have also been taken off from the protection list of central security forces.
The cover of Uttar Pradesh Deputy CM Dinesh Sharma, Congress leader Avtar Singh Bhadana, Punjab minister Rana Gurmit Sodhi, ex-Bihar MP Sabir Ali, Congress MP from Punjab, Pratap Singh Bajwa, VC of Manipur University Adya Prasad Pandey, space scientist T K Alex and few others have also been taken off the central list, according to latest orders issued by the Union home ministry.
Separately, the security provided by the CAPF commandos to BSP MP Satish Chandra Mishra, former Jharkhand CM Babulal Marandi, BJP MLA from Uttar Pradesh Sangeet Som, Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan’s MP son Chirag Paswan, ex-MP Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav and former CRPF Directors General (DG) K Vijay Kumar and Prakash Mishra has been scaled down.
The security categorisation of Abhijeet Mukherjee, MP son of ex-President Pranab Mukherjee, Congress leader Anand Sharma, Raj Babbar, Digvijay Singh, A K Antony, Manish Tewari, Loktantrik Janata Dal Party leader Sharad Yadav, CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury, former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s foster daughter Namita Kaul Bhattacharya and former BJP leader Yashwant Sinha has also been downgraded.
Former Congress MP Ravneet Singh Bittu, ex-Punjab minister Bikram Singh Majithia, NIA Inspector General G P Singh, Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath and Additional Sessions Judge in Delhi O P Saini are among others whose security categorisation has been downgraded under different heads.
Some of those who have been removed from the central list will be taken care off by the police units of various state governments, they said.
The home Ministry on Monday went through the threat perception reports of over 130 VIPs which were prepared by central security agencies after which the categories were either removed or reviewed, they said.