The Punjab government has further enhanced the security cover for Navjot Singh Sidhu with Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh assigning a bulletproof vehicle from his official fleet to his cabinet colleague. Sources told the Indian Express that the number of personnel deployed for Sidhu’s security has also been increased from 12 to 25. Officials said the state government has also written to provide Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) cover to Sidhu.
The developments come following heightened threat perception and the announcement of Rs 1-crore bounty on Sidhu’s head by a right wing organisation. Sources privy to the development said that after Congress high command intervened, the CM, who also holds the home portfolio, immediately provided a bulletproof vehicle from his fleet to Sidhu as it takes more than a month’s time to bulletproof a new vehicle. Sidhu had been using his personal vehicle and had returned the official vehicle provided to him earlier.
In November last year, senior Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala had written to the Union government seeking Z-plus security cover for Sidhu. DGP Suresh Arora and DGP Intelligence, Dinkar Gupta recently met Sidhu. Subsequently, the CM is learnt to have called Sidhu and assured him of security.
In a letter to Union home secretary, Government of India, state home secretary Nirmaljit Singh Kalsi has written that the minister be provided the CAPF security cover preferably by the CISF. Kalsi has written that the state has already provided him Z-plus security cover. The letter states that after his recent visit to Pakistan where he hugged that country’s army chief, there was a security threat to Sidhu. It also states that Hindu Yuva Vahini (HYV), a right wing group based in Uttar Pradesh, had announced a bounty of Rs 1 crore to anyone, who beheads Sidhu. The HYV president had stated that Sidhu had been heaping praises on Pakistan and giving statements against his own country. Kalsi’s letter also mentions about Sidhu’s tirade against corrupt practices of the previous SAD regime in Punjab.