Citing zero threat perception, Punjab govt withdraws Bajwa’s security
Move comes after Congress Rajya Sabha MP criticised the Capt Amarinder Singh-led government’s handling of the hooch tragedy and sought a CBI or ED inquiry into itUpdated: Aug 08, 2020 17:54 IST
Chandigarh: The Punjab government has decided to withdraw the state police security from Congress MP Pratap Singh Bajwa after an assessment showed that he had virtually no threat perception and was, in any case, getting central security directly accorded to him by the Union home ministry
An official spokesperson said that the state police security provided to Bajwa had become redundant since he had procured personal security directly from home minister Amit Shah. “A mixed security component is, in any case, not considered good, particularly when the Rajya Sabha MP has, by opting for central security, showed that he had no faith in the state police,” the spokesperson said in a release here on Saturday.
The decision comes after Bajwa, a former Punjab Congress president, criticised the Capt Amarinder Singh-led government’s handling of the hooch tragedy case and demanded an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or Enforcement Directorate (ED) into it.
‘CENTRAL SECURITY NOT AT BEHEST OF CONG LEADERSHIP’
According to the spokesperson, contrary to claims made by Bajwa, the central security he had got was not at the behest of the Congress leadership. “In fact, the Union home ministry had not even consulted the state government to gauge the threat perception, which is usually done before providing central security to any person,” the release said.
Bajwa, as Rajya Sabha MP, may have simply approached the party’s leader in the House, Ghulam Nabi Azad, to seek central security, and as is the norm, the latter could have simply sent his request to the Union home ministry. However, for some reason, the home ministry chose not to discuss the matter of Bajwa’s threat perception with the state government in this case, which was a clear deviation from the norm followed in such cases, the spokesperson said.
‘SHOULD HAVE BEEN WITHDRAWN EARLIER ‘
The spokesperson said that Bajwa has been getting enhanced security from Punjab Police all this time, way beyond what he was entitled to as a Rajya Sabha MP. This was because the state government decided not to withdraw the greater security he had at his disposal as Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president. Ideally, the enhanced security should have been withdrawn as soon as he became MP, with virtually zero threat perception.
Bajwa was given Z category security by the MHA on March 19 and as of date has 25 CISF personnel for personal security, house protection and escort, besides two escort drivers. Till March 23, he also had 14 Punjab Police personnel deployed with him but a few were withdrawn for Covid duties. At present, he has six Punjab Police personnel and an escort with driver, which is now being withdrawn.