Rae Bareli petrol pump owner gets VIP security
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It's not just ministers, MPs and MLAs who get VIP security. The Home ministry recently asked the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) to provide 'Y' category security to a petrol pump owner, Haji Haroon Rashid, in Rae Bareli.
"He is actively involved in social work and is said to be a Congress loyalist. We were asked to provide security to him and we have done so," said a senior official. Rashid was reportedly facing threats from the local mafia.
An official admitted that Rashid's close ties with the Congress may have influenced the decision to grant him security.
Another person who has also been cleared for 'Y' category security is Mohammad Muslim, Congress MLA from Tiloi in Amethi district.
Former MP Prabhu Dayal Katheria, who was earlier alleged to have morphed a group photograph with Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, is also among those who have been provided security.
The number of people seeking VIP security has increased ever since Sushil Kumar Shinde took over as Home Minister.
Officials of the CISF, which has a Special Security Group (SSG) to cater to VIP security, said they were planning to "expand the unit and make it an elite one on the lines of the Special Protection Group (SPG)."
"The local police have other jobs to do, but a central force like ours can always fill the gaps and do such duties. We have been providing security cover to 37 VIPs, and more are likely to be sanctioned," said a senior CISF official.
'Say no to security'
External Affairs minister Salman Khurshid said on Sunday that the government "should discourage people from asking for security". Addressing the CISF raising day function, he said: "I myself do not take any security and Mr P Chidambaram also does not support it." — ENS
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