NEW DELHI: The Centre has accorded the top category 'Z+' VVIP armed security cover to newly-appointed Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. The cover will be provided by a special commando team of the CISF along with a small contingent of the Uttar Pradesh police.
"The Chief Minister's security has been bolstered and he will now be secured by a strong team of CISF commandos everytime he moves across the country. A similar commando contingent will be deployed at his official residence," a senior officer said.
As part of the new and upgraded security paraphernalia, Adityanath will have about 25-28 commandos accompanying him with sophisticated weapons at all times he is mobile and his convoy will have pilot and escort vehicles armed with jammers. The review in security category of Adityanath comes after the Intelligence Bureau’s threat perception report flagged upgradation of his protective cover.
Under the 'Y' cover, he was accompanied by about 2-3 commandos when he travelled, officials said. A Central Industrial Security Force squad from its Special Security Group (SSG) has recently taken charge of his security in Lucknow, they said.
Adityanath who is known for his controversial statements on minorities, Kairana, and even figures such as Mother Teresa and Shah Rukh Khan, was till now enjoying the smallest category of 'Y' category VVIP cover by the CISF in his capacity as a BJP MP from Gorakhpur. However, officials said with his taking charge as CM, a threat perception report of central security agencies required his security paraphernalia to be upgraded.
The issue of Z Plus security was raised in December last year when it was withdrawn from the three-time former Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) leaving his party Congress, enraged. Following MHA's decision, all the NSG commandos, attached to Gogoi, were withdrawn from his security cover. The decision had come months after the protection review group had recommended to the MHA to withdraw the Z Plus security cover to Gogoi and several other politicians.
The 82-year-old Gogoi was provided the elite security cover more than a decade ago for the perceived threat to his life from extremist elements in the state. (READ HERE)
With Yogi Adityanath being given Z plus security, he joins an elite club of 450 people on the VIP security list, according to media reports.
According to a report in the Hindu, as many as 50 new names have been added to the list of people being given VIP security since the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government came to power in 2014.
Some of these VIPs include BJP State presidents O.P. Mathur (Rajasthan) and Jugal Kishore Sharma (Jammu and Kashmir), wife of Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani and owner of IPL team Mumbai Indians Nita Ambani, Yoga guru Ramdeo Baba, to name a feww.
After much drama, even the Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal was also given the Z category security, despite his refusal. Some of the news reports also say that P Chidambaram, who was home minister in the Congress-led government, tried to bring the number of VIP protectees down to tackle criticism over massive funds and resources invested in providing security to a few.