The Z+ category ‘black cat’ commandos security cover of former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav is set to be withdrawn by the central government, official sources said on Monday. They said a comprehensive review of the VIP protectees, under the umbrella of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs), was conducted by the Union Home Ministry after which it was decided to take away the cover of the Samajwadi Party (SP) president, provided by the elite National Security Guard (NSG).
It was not immediately clear if Akhilesh will be accorded a scaled down security cover by some other central force or his central security has been taken off completely. A similar NSG ‘black cats’ cover of Yadav’s father and SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav will continue, they said. Akhilesh was accorded the top category VIP security in 2012 during the UPA regime at the Centre.
A team of about 22 NSG commandos, armed with sophisticated weapons, had been deputed with Akhilesh as part of his security cover, who are now expected to be called back soon after the orders in this context are issued.
The Home Ministry took the decision on the basis of threat perception reports prepared by central and state (Uttar Pradesh) intelligence agencies, the sources said. The security cover of at least two dozen other VIPs has also been either withdrawn or scaled down, they said. The official orders will be issued soon, officials said.
The federal counter-terror force NSG, at present, has 13 prominent politicians under its cover, including Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, former UP CM Mayawati, current UP CM Yogi Adityanath, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, ex-CMs Chandrababu Naidu and Farooq Abdullah among others.