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In fresh exercise, Punjab govt prunes security of 8 Congress leaders, including Sunil Jakhar

Earlier, after AAP stormed to power and before Bhagwant Mann formally took over as the chief minister, the security cover of as many as 122 politicians, majority of them from Congress, Akali Dal, BJP and former AAP MLAs was withdrawn.

Written by Navjeevan Gopal | Chandigarh |
Updated: May 12, 2022 4:34:54 pm
Former Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar (File)

Former Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar has been stripped of Z-category security details while that of former union minister Harsimrat Kaur’s has been downgraded to Y plus, in a fresh pruning as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Punjab continues the exercise to withdraw security cover on the basis of latest threat perception to the protectees.

In the latest exercise, 127 personnel and nine vehicles were withdrawn from the security details of eight politicians.

As many as 28 Punjab Police personnel and three vehicles – maximum from a protectee in the recent pruning – have been withdrawn from former Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, who is the only woman ever to hold the post. She was CM from November 21, 1996 to February 11, 1997. Bhattal had Y-plus security cover with 36 personnel and three vehicles. Her security has been downgraded to Y category with eight security personnel.

Jakhar’s Z cover has been de-categorized, which leaves him with only two security personnel now. Twelve security personnel out of 14 and a vehicle attached with him have been withdrawn.

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The Z-category security cover given to another Congress leader and former deputy CM O P Soni has also been de-categorized. Nineteen out of 37 personnel attached with him have been withdrawn, leaving the former legislator from Amritsar Central with 18 personnel as he is entitled to as per norms, being former deputy CM. The order reads Soni has “no specific threat to him”.

Similarly, Congress leader and former cabinet minister Vijay Inder Singla’s Z-security cover has also been de-categorized and from 22 personnel and one vehicle, he has been left with only four security personnel being a former minister.

Congress leader Parminder Singh Pinky’s security has also been de-categorized from Z-category where he had 28 personnel and one vehicle. Pinky is now left with only two security personnel being a former MLA.

Same for Congress leader Navtej Singh Cheema, who is now left with two security personnel being a former MLA. Cheema had Y plus security detail where he had 13 security personnel and a vehicle.

All the 11 security personnel and a vehicle given to Y plus protectee and former MLA Kewal Singh Dhillon have been withdrawn, de-categorizing his security cover.

Harsimrat, who had 13 security personnel in her security and one vehicle, will continue to have 11 personnel in her security detail as Y plus protectee.

Earlier, after AAP stormed to power and before Bhagwant Mann formally took over as the chief minister, the security cover of as many as 122 politicians, majority of them from Congress, Akali Dal, BJP and former AAP MLAs was withdrawn.

This was followed by withdrawal of security last month from as many as 184 protectees, which included politicians and other VIPs.

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