Delhi Police have upgraded the security cover of justice Dipak Misra, who led the Supreme Court bench that rejected 1993 Mumbai serial blasts convict Yakub Memon’s last-ditch appeal to stop his execution, to Z plus.
The heightened security for justice Misra was put in place after the apex court judge received a death threat letter.
Besides a Delhi Police constable, armed commandos will also now protect the judge round-the-clock. Misra will now also get two escort vehicles and a total of around 50 security personnel protecting him.
A ‘Z+’ category protectee gets security cover from National Security Guard (NSG) commandos who are armed with sophisticated MP5 guns and modern communication gadgets. The protectee gets an escort vehicle and a pilot vehicle that protects his official vehicle. Each security vehicle will have at least three security personnel, while three personal security officers will remain attached to him round-the-clock, police said.
Besides this, security arrangement has also been beefed up at his official residence in Lutyens’ Delhi. The security cover at residence will now comprises of two head constables and eight constables apart from a Gypsy with armed guards that will be stationed outside.
According to the police, the threat letter (enclosed in an envelope) was found on the premises of the SC judge’s official bungalow on the evening of August 5. “It was a small piece of paper which read, “Kitni bhi security badha lo, hum tumhe maar dengen… your enemy (irrespective of the protection you avail, we will eliminate you).”
A case under appropriate sections of IPC has been registered at Tughlaq Road police station against unknown people. “We are taking this matter seriously. Teams have been formed to identify the culprits and bring them to book at the earliest,” said Mukesh Kumar Meena, joint CP (New Delhi range).
Chief Justice of India HL Dattu too asked the authorities to strengthen the security of Justice Misra.
"Such threats would not affect our work," the CJI said, "Our job is to decide the cases and we do it without fear. We do our job and leave the rest."
Justice Misra and his colleagues Justice Amitav Roy and Justice Prafulla Pant considered Yakub’s new petition in unprecedented pre-dawn hearing on July 30 before ruling that they would not stop his execution hours later. They said Yakub had exhausted all legal options available to him and had ample time and opportunity to challenge his death sentence.
Soon after Yakub was hanged on July 30, security for Misra, Roy and Pant was increased.
Yakub, the brother of prime accused Tiger Memon, and 11 others were sentenced to death by a special TADA court in July 2007 for the dozen explosions that ripped through India’s financial capital, killing 257 people and leaving more than 700 injured.
(With agency inputs)