New Delhi: Four BJP leaders in Punjab have been provided with ‘X’ category armed security cover of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) by the central government, according to news agency ANI.
Former Punjab cabinet ministers Balbir Singh Sidhu, Gurpreet Singh Kangar along with former MLA Jagdeep Singh Nakai, as well as Amarjit Singh Tikka are among the BJP leaders who have been provided security cover. All four leaders recently joined the BJP after leaving Congress.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued the order to provide these BJP leaders with ‘X-category’ round-the-clock protection, after a security assessment based on Intelligence Bureau (IB) report which indicated a threat to them. In October, five BJP leaders in Punjab were provided with ‘Y-category’ security after a similar report. The five leaders were former MP Amrik Singh Aliwal, former MLA Harjinder Singh Thekedar, former MLA Harchand Kaur, former MLA Prem Mittal and Kamaldeep Saini as per IANS.
The leaders had joined the BJP along with former Punjab chief minister and ex-Congress leader Captain Amarinder Singh.
MHA provides ‘X’, ‘Y’, ‘Y+’, ‘Z’, and ‘Z+’ category security through Central Armed Police Forces CAPFs such as CRPF and Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) based on the report by the Intelligence Bureau. CISF and the CRPF security cover VIPs, both the paramilitary forces have their exclusive VIP security wings of commandos, who possess sophisticated close-protection weapons.
In India, the category is divided into six tiers — SPG, Z+, Z, Y+, Y and X. While X+ is the highest level of security, (Special Protection Group) SGP is usually only provided to the prime minister of India. ‘X’ category security includes, two personal security officers round the clock, which means around six PSOs assuming an 8-hour shift.
(With agency inputs)