Despite Intelligence Bureau inputs on threat to anti-graft crusader, Hazare's aides decided to shift him to city from Ralegansiddhi on December 31 without bothering to inform cops.

Despite Intelligence Bureau inputs on a possible terror threat to anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare, there remain serious issues with his security. It seems Hazare's close aides took the decision to shift him overnight to Sancheti Hospital in the city on December 31 without even caring to inform the police.

Then and now: Anna Hazare brought to Sancheti hospital in the city 
on December 31 without a single policeman beside him

Hazare's PA Suresh Pathare admitted to MiD DAY that the police did not accompany Hazare as they were not informed about the changed plan to shift him overnight instead of early in the morning on January 1. Local police stations en route to the city from Ralegansiddhi were also kept in the dark about this sudden change in the plan. 

Hazare surrounded by the police and other security personnel as he is 
wheeled out of Sancheti to be taken to Ralegansiddhi. Pics/Krunal Gosavi

Stark contrast
In stark contrast to this was the security scenario yesterday, when the 74-year-old Hazare was discharged from the hospital. Officials of the Special Police Unit (SPU) along with personnel from the Shivajinagar police station and the police headquarters cordoned off the hospital and were even barring the media from entering the hospital premises.

Eight days ago, when Hazare was shifted to Sancheti Hospital from Ralegansiddhi around 11.30 pm, officials of the SPU appointed to provide him Z+ security were absent. He was driven to the city in a white Mahindra Scorpio and was even asked to occupy the middle seat. Some of his followers believed that considering the condition of the ailing Hazare, he should have been shifted to the hospital in an ambulance. 

Upon his arrival in the city, there was hardly any police presence. It may be recalled that after the Intelligence Bureau input, in September last year, the Centre had provided Z+ security to Hazare. It is understood that Hazare has been cautioned not to go close to people while accepting garlands.

On the issue of the security flip-flop, Pathare said,  "Considering the worsening health of Anna Hazare, the decision to shift him was taken suddenly, so much so that we did not even get the time to inform local police or SPU." Reacting to the heavy police bandobast yesterday, he said, "It was announced well in advance that Annaji would be discharged from the hospital on Sunday, so the police kept heavy bandobast inside the hospital."