Ashish Shelar terms security downgrade 'vindictive politics'
City strongman Ashish Shelar's detail reduced from five personnel to two, Prasad Lad's downgraded from Y to X category
The Shiv Sena and BJP are once again at loggerheads — this time over reducing the security cover of the BJP leaders. On Thursday, BJP MLA Ashish Shelar was informed about his security arrangements being downgraded from 5 policemen to 2.
The change in Shelar's security arrangement comes two days after he lashed out at the Shiv Sena-controlled BMC for allegedly doling out contracts to companies way above the estimated cost. Speaking to mid-day, Shelar termed the security downgrade as Shiv Sena's vindictive politics and said, 'It is the government's responsibility to protect each and every citizen of the state, especially when it comes to the security of women."
He added that he had raised the law and order issue on Thursday during the winter session at Nagpur. "Instead of replying to my queries, my security cover was scaled down. I am sure the government must have done its homework before taking a call on this issue," he said. Initially, he had armed police personnel as part of his security. However, in 2018, following a report by Maharashtra State Intelligence Department warning Sonu Nigam and Shelar of a death threat from a terrorist group in Pakistan, the Mumbai police added an escort vehicle to the Y-plus security cover for him.
Meanwhile, a home department official on condition of anonymity told mid-day, "There is no change in the protection category. Only the escort vehicle provided by the department has been withdrawn." Besides Shelar, the state government has scaled down the security cover of Prasad Lad, who is said to be a close aide of former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. Lad's security cover has been scaled down to X category and will now be guarded by one police personnel instead of Y-plus category security cover. Despite several attempts, Lad was not available for comment.
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