Leader of the Opposition in the Assam Legislative Assembly Debabrata Saikia has called for restoration of ‘Z+’ security cover of former chief minister Tarun Gogoi.
The Central government has recently decided to downgrade the security cover of former chief minister Tarun Gogoi and called for its restoration.
Taking a dig at the Centre, Saikia has written a letter to Union home minister Amit Shah expressing concern over the matter.
“I condemn the step taken by the Union home ministry to downgrade the security cover level of former chief minister Tarun Gogoi from ‘Z+’ to ‘Z’ category. Earlier too, the NSG security cover for Gogoi was reduced and CRPF security cover was provided instead.
“Before that, the security cover of our former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson and All India Congress Committee (AICC) president Sonia Gandhi, MP Rahul Gandhi and AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi was downgraded from SPG protectee category to ‘Z+’ category under CRPF personnel,” Saikia said in the letter.
“It must be borne in mind that after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, the SPG Act was modified and security cover was provided to families of former Prime Ministers in view of threat perception to their lives.
“However, this vindictive government has chosen to withdraw security cover of people who criticise the BJP for its various unconstitutional and unlawful acts. Last month, the security cover of another former chief minister of Assam, Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, was also scaled down from ‘Z+’ with SPG to ‘Z+’ with CRPF. All this is being done on the basis of the BJP’s brute majority in Parliament,” he said.
Saikia said former chief minister Gogoi had led Assam during crucial periods and was instrumental in restoring peace in the State and taking it on the path of progress through sheer determination.
“He (Gogoi) is now being targeted by the government because of his active anti-CAB/CAA role in recent months. I decry this move and urge the BJP-led Central government to reconsider its decision and immediately restore the ‘Z+’ security cover of Gogoi,” Saikia stated.
Sources in the Congress said that the former chief minister is likely to approach the court seeking restoration of his old security cover.