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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

VIP security: Amit Shah gets 'Z Plus' category

Rajesh Ahuja, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 02, 2014
First Published: 21:01 IST(2/7/2014) | Last Updated: 01:54 IST(3/7/2014)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s close aide Amit Shah, who is likely to succeed Rajnath Singh as BJP president soon, has been accorded the highest Z Plus category security under the central protectee list, sources told HT.

“Shah at the moment is a protectee of Gujarat police under Z Plus category. But when he travels outside Gujarat, the police of the host state provide security which has led to coordination problems, many times forcing MHA to intervene. Therefore it has been decided to provide Z Plus security to Shah from the central protectee category after a review of threat to him by the Intelligence Bureau. He is going to be a protectee of any of the central forces now,” said a home ministry official.

Under the Z Plus category, the protectee gets between 40 to 70 guards, depending upon the threat perception. At the moment, there are around 250 protectees in the central list.

Home minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday reviewed the working of policy planning division of the ministry that deals with the VIP security.

“Singh was apprised of the security arrangements for the protectees. He desired that these may be reviewed and suitably strengthened, wherever required,” a ministry official said.

Sources said over the years the issue of VIP security has become extremely politically sensitive. No minister wants to annoy his political colleagues by downgrading or completely withdrawing their security. Therefore the list of protectess keeps on getting bloated.

“It is yet to be seen whether Singh would be able to withstand the political pressure that comes at the time of such review,” said another ministry official requesting anonymity.


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