The Mumbai Police has put on hold its decision to increase security cover for five prominent personalities — Ratan Tata, Mukesh Ambani, Sachin Tendulkar, Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan. Instead, it has initiated a detailed probe to assess the present threat perception to the five.
The decision, intelligence sources said, was taken at a meeting chaired by Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister R.R. Patil late last week. Patil was of the view that the decision to enhance security shouldn't be done merely on the disclosure of suspects in the Mumbai blasts case. In any case, the force already provides the five with considerable security. Patil directed the Mumbai Police to conduct its own investigation and then increase security cover only if "it is absolutely necessary".
The minister and a section of the police brass reportedly felt that the disclosure that the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba planned to target known personalities could well be a "diversionary tactic" and that the militant outfit could strike elsewhere.
Patil, sources claimed, emphasised that the police shouldn't create any "unnecessary panic", which may restrict the movement of these personalities.
In a communication to the Union Home Ministry, the state government has conveyed that it is reviewing the threat perception to the five personalities, following which a final decision will be taken.
"The Mumbai Police is not taking any chances and is keeping the five under constant scanner. But they first want to verify the inputs," said a senior ministry official.