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'Kejriwal getting security without his knowledge'

Home minister Sushilkumar Shinde today said a security cover is being provided to Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal without his knowledge and despite his repeated rejection for it.

india Updated: Jan 10, 2014 18:25 IST

Home minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Friday said a security cover is being provided to Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal without his knowledge and despite his repeated rejection for it.

This was being done as it was the "duty" of the government and the home ministry to take care of the security requirements and protection of VVIPs and others based on threat perception, he said.

"It is the duty of any state government and the Centre to protect such VVIPs. When he (Kejriwal) was elected as the chief minister he was immediately provided with security. We are now giving him security cover without his knowledge," the home minister told reporters in New Delhi during his monthly press conference.

Shinde said the security agencies have thrice asked Kejriwal to take security and he has refused twice.

Read: Delhi CM Kejriwal refuses to accept security cover

He said the task of ensuring security to Kejriwal is being carried out by the Delhi Police even as the Police Commissioner of Delhi has talked to the SP of Ghaziabad to take care of security requirements in his area as the CM lives there and also the office of Aam Admi Party is located in the neighbouring district.

"Recently there was an attack on AAP office in Ghaziabad.... We have asked the local police that if not directly they can post their men in the vicinity of these locations," Shinde said.

The home minister agreed with the view that the common man has to face difficulty when traffic is held up for VIP movements but he said he has asked the police to make sure that regular movement is resumed as soon as possible.

To a question on the increase in the number of vehicles in the home minister's security apparatus, Union home secretary Anil Goswami, who was present at the press conference, said it has been done on the basis of threat perception.

Goswami said new vehicles (Tata Safaris) were included based on security requirements and threat perception to the home minister. As the SUVs were not immediately available off-the-shelf, they were included in his cavalcade recently, he said.

Shinde said he has never taken security in his political career of 40 years and even during his stint as the Union power minister, he only had one personal security officer (PSO).

"I am a home minister who remians with the 'janta'. But due to some action and activities in the home ministry, my security is like this," he said, hinting at the execution of terrorists like Afzal Guru and Ajmal Kasab and arrest of some terror masterminds since he took over in July 2012.

Shinde said that based on the inputs received on security "risk" to Gujarat chief minister Narenda Modi and BJP leader LK Advani, they have been given appropriate security cover.

He also said the home ministry will examine the issue of security arrangement if the AAP-led Delhi government decides to hold a Delhi assembly session in Ramlila Maidan.

"I have not heard something like this before but we will see when it comes to us," he said.

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