Withdrawal of Congress MP Bajwa's security a 'routine exercise': Punjab CM

The exercise was purely a routine periodical security review conducted in consultation with the central agency, said the CM.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday defended the withdrawal of state police security given to Congress Rajya Sabha MP Partap Singh Bajwa, saying it was a routine exercise and has nothing to do with the leader's face-off with the state government.

The state government on Saturday had decided to withdraw state security given to Bajwa, saying he enjoys the central security cover and virtually faced no threat.

The decision had come days after Bajwa and another Congress Rajya Sabha MP, Shamsher Singh Dullo, sought a CBI probe into the illegal liquor trade in the wake of the hooch tragedy that killed 121 people in three districts of the state.

On Saturday, Bajwa had attacked the CM, accusing him of resorting to hitting below the belt and exposing his whole family to risk for criticising the improper functioning of the government.

Commenting on it, the chief minister in a statement termed as inexplicable Bajwa's attempt to link this review with his confrontation with the state government, which he said was triggered by the MP "without any basis.
Bajwa's complaint on this account was petty and frivolous and not based on facts, said the CM.

It was a routine exercise based on a periodic review of his threat assessment as provided in the State Security Policy of 2013 after he was provided Z category security by the Centre in March this year, Singh said.

The CM said while his government will never deny security to any person genuinely in need, it could not afford to spare police personnel unnecessarily, particularly when the force was under severe constraints amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The chief minister also defended the police cover given to the Badals, a high threat perception had necessitated it in addition to the Z plus security provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

There was no comparison between their case and that of Bajwa, who was not a categorised protectee of the Punjab government in the absence of any specific inputs indicating any threat to him from any terrorist or militant outfit operating in the country, asserted the CM.

On March 19, 2020, the MHA had decided to provide Bajwa the Z category security with the CISF cover.

Singh said the full deployment of CISF security had necessitated a fresh review of the present situation by police and the subsequent withdrawal of the state-level security for the MP.

The exercise was purely a routine periodical security review conducted in consultation with the central agency, said the CM.

The CM said it was unfortunate that Bajwa had chosen to look at his security force as a symbol of prestige and birth-right, which it definitely was not.

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