Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Never lower your guard, MHA tells 40 leaders

Font Size Express news service
Posted: Apr 02, 2009 at 0138 hrs IST

New Delhi: In the wake of intelligence reports that terrorist groups might try to target important political leaders during the elections, the Home Ministry has asked about 40 high-profile leaders to strictly adhere to the security drill prescribed for them and cooperate fully with the security agencies.

The Ministry has also written to the state governments asking them to ensure proper protection for these VIPs when they campaign in their respective states.

The 40 leaders, which include most of the NSG and SPG protectees, are said to be on the target of not just terrorist organisations but also of Naxalites and insurgent groups wanting to make their presence felt during the elections.

In a letter written on March 27, Home Minister P Chidambaram has advised all these leaders to follow the do’s and don’ts of the security arrangements made for them and stressed that it was better to err on the side of caution.

He said in case the leaders under threat had doubts over what security procedures needed to be followed, they were welcome to contact officials in the Home Ministry or even the Home Minister.

The ministry has also shared the information available with intelligence agencies on the threats posed to these leaders.

The intelligence agencies had last month picked up specific inputs which suggested that Terror groups were planning to attack popular politicians in the run-up to the elections with the aim of disrupting the election procedure in the country.

Chidambaram had recently also visited the border areas in Punjab and Rajasthan and urged the Border Security Force to step up its vigil in order to thwart expected attempts by infiltrators to enter the country ahead of the elections.

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