LUCKNOW: After a comprehensive review of the VIP protectees, under the umbrella of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs), Union Home Ministry has decided to downsize the security cover of around half a dozen UP VIPS including Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav.
The other leaders whose security will be reduced include BJP MLAs Sangeet Som and Sakshi Maharaj along with Yogi ministers Suresh Rana and Brijesh Pathak. Moreover, the security of Deputy CM Dinesh Sharma is also likely to be reduced.
While all the BJP leaders came to terms with Centre's decision, there was a huge ruckus by SP lawmakers in state legislature over downsizing of Akhilesh's security. A team of 22 National Security Guard (NSG ) commandos, armed with sophisticated weapons had been deputed with the SP chief as part of his Z+ category 'black cat' commandos security cover since 2012 when he took over as state chief minister and the Centre was being ruled by UPA-II. It was not immediately clear if Akhilesh will be accorded a scaled down security cover by some other central force or his central security will be taken off completely.
On the contrary, similar NSG 'black cats' cover of SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and BSP chief Mayawati will continue, say the sources. In fact, the Z plus security comprises of the deployment of 36 security personnel including 10 Black Cat commandos at a time. Each shift is of eight hours and in all 108 security personnel are deployed in the fleet of a single Z plus security protectee.
The Home Ministry reportedly took the decision on the basis of threat perception reports prepared by central and state (Uttar Pradesh) intelligence agencies, the sources said. The federal counter-terror force NSG, at present, has 13 prominent politicians under its cover, including Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, former UP CM Mayawati, current UP CM Yogi Adityanath, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, ex-CMs Chandrababu Naidu and Farooq Abdullah among others.