Even as political leaders get busy addressing rallies ahead of the elections to the five states, protecting them has now become tougher for VVIP security units of various forces, as in the wake of Prime Minister’s security breach, forces have started taking extra steps to ensure security.
Security forces protecting VVIPs already faced a tough time during West Bengal elections where BJP leaders were attacked by the mob.
According to the sources, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) will set up multiple dedicated control rooms in all poll-bound states headed by a senior level officer who will check the movement and security of the protected and will remain connected with agencies concerned around-the-clock. The officer will be liable for liaison with local police as well. These control rooms will be connected to the central control room.
Sources also claimed that these units will have enough access to additional security troops who have been stationed already in these states in case of the requirement of additional security cover.
Last year, various BJP leaders were attacked in West Bengal and since then changes have been introduced in standard operating procedures, officials claimed.
CRPF shares the maximum burden of protecting VVIPs. Home minister Amit Shah, top opposition leaders Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi etc all have CRPF cover with Advanced Security Liaison (ASL).
“After the recent security breach in PM’s security, during upcoming elections, we will be having additional arrangements to protect our protectee. Many of them have Advanced Security Liaison (ASL), which require an advance check of security. We will establish control rooms, centres etc with additional troops of the unit so that in any situation we have no issue in protecting VVIPs. Everything will be manned by a senior level officer,” a senior CRPF official aware of the arrangement told News 18.
Forces would have unit offices in all major cities of poll-bound states.
“Teams would be stationed at cities like Jalandhar, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Lucknow, Imphal, Kanpur, so that they can reach at short notice. The process of deploying additional units’ troops have been initiated already in five poll-bound states along with backup plans,” the official claimed.
Similarly, the Special Security Group of CISF has also arranged extra troops to give foolproof security.
SSG will have its control room in Greater Noida to coordinate with local police in all states. In case of any additional requirement of jawans, SSG will have units in major cities.
NSG which has a very limited number of protectees like UP CM Yogi Adityanath and Defence minister Rajnath Singh will also have a senior official to monitor requirements of VVIPs during elections.
Three paramilitary CRPF, CISF and NSG give security to almost all top political leaders of the country except Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They give protection to close to 125 VVIPs.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has already given the green signal for the movement of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) to election-bound states.
According to an official communication issued on Wednesday, a total of 225 companies of different CAPFs will be sent to Uttar Pradesh in a phased manner by January 20. Each company has about 120 men, implying 27,000 security men are going to UP.
These 225 CAPF companies are initial deployment for area domination and more will be deployed in the coming days.
Last year, during the West Bengal elections, BJP president JP Nadda’s convoy was allegedly attacked and several BJP leaders including Kailash Vijayvargiya were injured when protesters hurled stones at their vehicles at West Bengal’s Diamond Harbour.
The bullet-proof vehicle in which Nadda was travelling was attacked and stones were hurled at them during their movement in the state.