VVIPs petition Maharashtra government over reduced security cover

‘The downgrading of category should not be based on political vendetta’

The State has received petitions from VVIPs whose security cover was recently reduced after the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government assumed office. At least three BJP leaders and a well-known public prosecutor have expressed their displeasure following the security rejig.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has received letters from two people requesting intervention in the decision taken by State’s security establishment. Sources in the home ministry confirmed to The Hindu that the issue has been flagged by some persons not happy with the reduction, while they reserve the right to raise a review petition.

The high power committee on VVIP threat perception had last month reviewed the security cover of 97 people. The committee took a decision to reduce the cover for 29 individuals, while decategorising the cover for 16 VVIPS, officials said. Those who have petitioned the CM have urged that in the wake of the continuing threat to their lives the decision of the committee be revised. “Yes, we have received a petition from some of these persons. They are upset and maintain there is a continuing and existing threat to their lives,” said a senior official of the State home department.

The MVA government had last month downgraded cricketer Sachin Tendulkar’s security cover from X category; BJP leader Eknath Khadse’s reduced from Y; and downgraded BJP leader and former U.P. Governor Ram Naik’s security category from Z+ to X. Among others, the committee had also reduced the cover of BJP leader and former cabinet minister Ashish Shelar and BJP MLC Prasad Lad. The security cover for prominent public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam was also reduced from Z+ to Y.

This after the cover for both Aaditya Thackeray and Uddhav Thackeray was increased. “I am disappointed at the reduced cover and have made my displeasure known to CM and Home Department. The downgrading of the cover should not happen based on political vendetta,” said a VVIP who lost his cover.

The Shiv Sena-led government’s action followed the decision of the Narendra Modi-led Union government to withdraw the Special Protection Group cover of Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, resulting in an uproar in Parliament last month.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 3:19:33 AM |

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