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Friday, Nov 22, 2019

MHA gives Bengal governor Z category security cover

Z category entitles West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar to protection by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

kolkata Updated: Oct 18, 2019 02:33 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar has been given Z category security by the MHA.
West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar has been given Z category security by the MHA.(ANI Photo)

The ministry of home affairs has given Z category security cover to West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar on the basis of a threat perception assessment carried out by intelligence agencies, officials familiar with the development said on condition of anonymity. Z category entitles him to protection by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

“The CRPF has already started conducting a security audit and will soon take over the security of Dhankar,” a senior home ministry official said.

The decision follows political violence, mainly between cadre of West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Clashes between TMC and BJP workers that started ahead of the April-May general elections have spilled over in to the aftermath of the polls and flared sporadically.

In September, a visit by Union minister Babul Supriyo to Jadavpur University resulted in the BJP member of Parliament being heckled, pushed, and having his hair pulled by students and stopped from leaving campus for hours.

Home minister Amit Shah had to cut short a roadshow in May this year in Kolkata after TMC members clashed with members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological mentor of the BJP . Shah said at a press conference then that he came out alive from there only because of the CRPF.

The CRPF last month also took over the security of BJP’s working president JP Nadda, who was also given Z category cover.

A Z category protectee is usually provided 35 to 40 commandoes on a rotational basis depending on the threat perception.

As first reported by HT last month, the CRPF has lately become the preferred choice of the home ministry in assigning security cover to VIPs.

Shah had, in August, refused to take National Security Guard (NSG) cover during a meeting on grounds that he was comfortable with the CRPF’s protective cover.

In September, after the government decided to remove the Special Protection Group (SPG) cover given to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and he was shifted to Z Plus category, his security was taken over by the CRPF.

In all, the CRPF provides security to 53 VIPs across the country. Several senior BJP leaders are currently being protected by the CRPF, including Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari; law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad; Jitendra Singh, minister of state in the prime minister’s office; Subramanian Swamy; Shahnawaz Hussain, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Hansraj Gangaram Ahir .