The security cover of former Mumbai police commissioner Rakesh Maria has been downgraded from Z-plus category to Z, while protection to over four dozens builders and businessmen (mainly jewelers) has been completely withdrawn in the second major overhaul this year.
A home department source told HT on Thursday that apart from Maria, K P Raghuvanshi, former anti-terrorism squad (ATS) chief, and Suvez Haq, superintendent of police, Raigad, have had their security downgraded from Z-plus to Z. Maria is currently director general of police for home guards and civil defence.
Another top cop, Himanshu Roy, who has previously held sensitive posts such as ATS chief and joint commissioner of police (crime) in Mumbai, voluntarily relinquished his Z-plus security cover soon after he was promoted and transferred to the Maharashtra Police Housing Corporation Ltd last year.
The decision to downgrade the security of Maria, Raghuvanshi (who retired last year as DG, Maharashtra State Security Corporation) and Haq was taken during a recent review of the security details of top cops and VVIPs by a special committee constituted under the home department. The committee, comprising top home department officials and senior officials from the state and the city police, reviews the threat perception to individuals in key positions from time to time.
Maria, who is credited with cracking the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, was given a bullet-proof vehicle when he was accorded Z category security in 2012 as head of the ATS. Months after assuming charge as Mumbai police commissioner in February 2014, his security cover was further upgraded to Z-plus.
Raghuvanshi said, “Assessing the threat perception and providing security is the government’s prerogative. I have nothing to say.” Maria was unavailable for comment.
In the first overhaul this year, the security cover of 25 top Bollywood celebrities, including Aamir Khan and Shah Rukh Khan, was downgraded in January, while security was withdrawn completely for director and producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra, director Rajkumar Hirani, director Farah Khan and producers Ali Morani and Karim Morani.