The 'black cat' commando security provided to former Union Home Minister Buta Singh, former Assam Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta and two others has been withdrawn.
Apart from Singh and Mahanta, the National Security Guard commandos provided to guard All India Anti-Terrorist Front Chairman M S Bitta and journalist Ashwini Kumar have also been withdrawn, bringing down the number of those protected by the force to 16.
Though a decision has been taken to withdraw the NSG commandos from Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, it has not been implemented following a court intervention.
"The decision (to downgrade the cover) has been taken by the Ministry of Home Affairs as there is a review committee that decides on the same," Director General of National Security Guard R K Madhekar told reporters here.
He said the order was issued by the Home Ministry recently.
However, the NSG security cover continues for BJP leader LK Advani, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu, Union Ministers Farooq Abdullah and Ghulam Nabi Azad, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, AIADMK chief J Jayalalitha and a few others.
Madhekar said the Punjab government has requested the NSG to train the state security personnel so that they could be deployed for VIP duties.