HYDERABAD: Sensing increased threat to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu in the wake of the Seshachalam encounter, his intelligence and security wing officials on Sunday swapped his convoy vehicles.
As per the new “security adjustment”, the fleet of luxurious SUVs - Naidu’s convoy vehicles in Hyderabad - have now been sent to Vijayawada. Old Tata Safari vehicles, stationed in Vijayawada for use during Naidu’s visits to Coastal Andhra, have been brought back to Hyderabad.
Asked about this sudden swapping of cars? The security wing officials told Express that old safari cars might be ‘vulnerable’ to attacks during Naidu’s travels in Coastal Andhra. “Hence, we have decided to use the new Fortuner cars in Vijayawada and the safari cars in Hyderabad, which is a high-security zone,” they explained, adding that the decision was taken to prevent any untoward incident during the Chief Minister’s district tours.
“Naidu has ‘Z’ category security but following the encounter in Chittoor district, we received inputs of a possible threat to him while touring the districts. Based on these inputs, we have swapped the cars in his convoy,” said a source.
Till now, Pardo and Fortuner vehicles had been utilised for Naidu’s convoy in Hyderabad. These vehicles were purchased in January at an estimated Rs 5.7 crore. In fact, in the wake of the recent encounters in AP and Telangana, the intelligence and security wing officials in both the States reviewed security measures for the Chief Ministers of the two States. Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s convoy was strengthened with the induction of a new bullet- proof ‘fire-fighting’ vehicle which can thwart any attack from gunmen.