CHANDIGARH: The Centre has withdrawn the Z Plus security cover of senior Akali Dal leader Bikram Singh Majithia, who is the brother of former Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal.
The SAD termed the move "political vendetta".
Sources said the Centre withdrew the 40-odd security personnel of CISF (Central Industrial Security Force) and two escort vehicles provided to Majithia on the orders of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
This security was provided to Majitha by the previous UPA government on the request of the then SAD-BJP government in Punjab as he had been getting threats from the gangsters and anti-social elements from abroad.
"After the state government gets a letter from the MHA that the security cover to the Akali Dal leader has been withdrawn, the Punjab Police will review his security cover and accordingly take a decision. In 2018, 11 gunmen provided by the Punjab Police to Majithia were withdrawn," said an officer on condition of anonymity.
The SAD termed the withdrawal of security of Majithia as an arbitrary, dictatorial, and politically motivated decision of the BJP-led central government. Party spokesman Dr Daljit Singh Cheema said Majithia’s security cover had been withdrawn because the SAD quit the NDA and stood firmly with farmers against the farm bills in the Parliament
“It is clear that Mr Majithia is a victim of political vendetta. The SAD, however, will not be cowed down by such tactics and will continue to oppose the anti-farmer and anti-people laws of the Centre which might weaken the federal structure."
Cheema further said the Z Plus category security cover had been given to him in 2010 during UPA rule on the basis of threat perception. "The case was cleared by then Home Minister P Chidambaram on the basis of credible reports. We would like to know what has changed suddenly that the 10-year-old security cover was withdrawn on the basis of a single line order.
"Majithia continues to be targeted by Pakistan based anti-national elements and gangsters who have openly threatened to eliminate him. Even Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh has recently talked about increased attempts of Pakistan’s ISI to revive terrorist activity in Punjab, particularly the Majha belt which shares a border with Pakistan."
Chemma said the SAD will hold the Union home ministry responsible for any untoward incident following the withdrawal Majithia’s security cover, the SAD leader said.
Security cannot be given or withdrawn on whims and fancies of the government. It is incumbent on the home ministry to explain on what ground Majithia’s security cover was withdrawn," he said