In a magnanimous gesture, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has apologised to veteran social crusader Kisan Baburao alias Anna Hazare for any 'security lapses' in the protection details assigned to him.
Lauding the 78-year-old leader's contributions to making a clean society, Fadnavis said the government would not withdraw the security cover as demanded by Hazare.
"You are a sage-like personality and too precious for us... I cannot withdraw your security cover," Fadnavis said in a personal letter to Hazare, copies of which were released on Thursday.
Following several threats to eliminate him in the recent past, Hazare was accorded Z-category security and had recently alleged that the police personnel assigned to him were lax in their duties.
Refusing any upgrade of his security on grounds of putting additional burden on the state exchequer, Hazare assured he would not blame the government if he suffered due to any untoward incident.
He pleaded that it was difficult to support the detail comprising nine bodyguards and 28 police personnel at his small village of Ralegan-Siddhi in Ahmednagar district.
Hazare had claimed that the security personnel were not punctual, arrived when he was doing his morning Yoga, or were chatting or talking on mobile phones, and would not react if any attack was made on him.