Muslim police drivers out of Advani convoy
A controversy is brewing in Kerala over the NSG’s decision to drop two Kerala Police drivers, both Muslims, from the motorcade escorting BJP leader L.K. Advani on his trip to Kozhikode, reports Ramesh Babu.india Updated: Oct 15, 2008 23:46 IST
A controversy is brewing in Kerala over the National Security Guard’s (NSG’s) decision to drop two Kerala Police drivers, both Muslims, from the motorcade escorting BJP leader L.K. Advani on his trip to Kozhikode on Tuesday.
Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan has asked the State director general of police to probe the incident.
The drivers were part of a team that underwent a three-day security drill for Advani’s visit.
Police sources said a senior NSG official sought the list of security officials accompanying Advani’s motorcade at the eleventh hour. On noticing their names, he reportedly instructed a senior state police officer to remove them from the team.
They were also asked to leave Vikram Maidan, the meeting venue, immediately, police sources said.
However Kozhikode Police Commissioner Anup John Kuruvilla has denied any discrimination. “It is a baseless report. There were six vehicles for escort duty and each vehicle had a spare driver. After the final drill, six were retained and six others kept on standby. In the police we never go by any religion or other consideration.”
However a police official who did not want to be named, as he is not authorised to speak to the media, reiterated that the two drivers were “humiliated by NSG authorities”.
The action has evoked a sharp reaction from the Muslim League, one of the oldest allies of the Congress in the state. “It is blot on Kerala. Such actions pose a serious threat to the secular fabric of the country,” league general secretary P.K. Kunhalikutty said, demanding a high-level probe.
Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed told HT that Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta had spoken to the Director General NSG and asked him to inquire into the incident. “Such things are reprehensible”, Ahamed added.