The Pune City Police and Pune Rural Police have withdrawn police protection provided to anti-cow slaughter activist Shivshankar Swamy, who is an “honourary animal welfare officer” and a member of the Akhil Bhartiya Krushi Goseva Sangh.
Police security was provided to Swamy starting from 2015, citing incidents of attacks on him and inputs about threats to his life. A few months earlier, he was also provided a police gunman. But since February 3, the Pune Rural Police has withdrawn his security and on February 26, the Pune City Police followed suit.
The Pune City Police has provided a copy of a letter dated February 26, signed by Deputy Commissioner of Police (special branch) Mitesh Ghatte to Swamy, which mentions that a gunman was provided for his security during daytime. “But during a review on February 5 by the committee formed for providing police security, it was decided police protection should not be given (to Swamy). If there is a demand from him, then paid police protection may be provided,” read the letter, a copy of which is with The Indian Express.
When asked about the matter, Pune Police Commissioner K Venkatesham said, “I am not aware… special branch would know.”
Swamy is associated with the Samasta Hindu Aghadi, an outfit headed by Milind Ekbote, who on Thursday submitted a letter to the police, calling for the protection to be reinstated. “I also had a meeting with the Pune police chief,” said Ekbote.
“A request has been made to continue my police protection,” said Swamy, adding he had always flagged threats made against him with the police.
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