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Not just Sanjiv Bhatt's, security of 68 others withdrawn: Gujarat govt

Govt says former MP, 20 former MLAs & ministers, judges, police officers, among the 69

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Not just Sanjiv Bhatt's, security of 68 others withdrawn: Gujarat govt
Sanjiv Bhatt
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A day after former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt's security was withdrawn, a senior police official said that security cover of 68 other protectees, including former MLAs and ex-ministers, had also been withdrawn, following a review of the threat perception to them.

Mayur Chavda, deputy commissioner in State Intelligence Bureau (IB), told reporters that security cover of 64 non-category protectees, and five others who were given X and Y category security cover, has been withdrawn, while that of two other protectees has been revised from Y to X category.

The 64 non-category individuals whose security cover has been withdrawn include 20 former BJP MLAs and ministers, one former Member of Parliament from the BJP, eight judges, five police officers, and 30 others, said Chavda. The former ministers, whose security cover has been withdrawn, were a part of the previous government.

Names of the other protectees whose security has been withdrawn were not immediately known. However, Bhatt had said on Wednesday that the threat perception to him remained high, and withdrawal of security cover jeopardised his safety.

Chavda dismissed the former's claim of high threat perception, saying the decision to retain or withdraw the security cover was taken by the review committee on the basis of inputs of security agencies.

Sanjiv Bhatt was provided security cover in April 2011 due to perceived threat to him as he appeared as a crucial witness in a case filed by Zakia Jafri, and was also examined as a witness by the Justice Nanavati-Shah Commission probing the 2002 riots.

Chavda, however, said that the court had given its verdict in the Zakia Jafri case, and the Commission too had already submitted its report.

"The decision to withdraw his security cover has been taken after detailed consideration as our review shows that he faces no threat from any individual or organisation," the official said. He added that Bhatt possesses three firearms, and has been granted arms license for the very purpose of self-defence.

Bhatt's security was withdrawn by city police on Wednesday. The former cop alleged that the move jeopardised his and his family's safety and security, and demanded the immediate restoration of security.

"You are requested to take all necessary measures to not only restore the existing security cover but to urgently review the arrangements with a view to providing adequate and fool-proof security cover to me and my immediate family members," he wrote in a letter to Chief Minister Vijay Rupani.

SECURITY COVER

  • Mayur Chavda, deputy commissioner in State Intelligence Bureau (IB), said security cover of 64 non-category protectees, and five others who were given X and Y category security cover, has been withdrawn.
     
  • The 64 non-category individuals whose security cover has been withdrawn include 20 former BJP MLAs and ministers, one former Member of Parliament from the BJP, eight judges, five police officers, and 30 others.
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