What do Anand Singh Bisht and Savitri Devi, the parents of Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, three Shankaracharyas, the judges at the Uttrakahnd High Court and newly-elected BJP Rajya Sabha MP Anil Baluni have in common?
They all figure in a list of VIPs in Uttarakhand who have been provided ‘Y’ category security cover by the Uttarakhand government. Those who have been granted the Y category security, after a review meeting held earlier this month, include seers such as Shankaracharya Swami Swaroopanand, Shankaracharya Vasudevanand Saraswati, Shankaracharya Rajrajeshwaram and Jagatguru Ramanand Hansdevacharya, and Hanslok Ashram’s Bhole Maharaj and Mangala Mata.
State BJP chief Ajay Bhatt and party MP Baluni too have been provided Y category security. Baluni, however, has now written to chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat to withdraw his Y-category security cover
“I am thankful you (chief minister) for the security cover. But I feel that I don’t need it,” Baluni wrote in the letter, a copy of which is marked to the chief secretary.
The BJP government had on April 5 issued an order granting 16 VIPs Y-category security cover. The security cover includes of 11 personnel, including two personal security officers (PSOs).
Till the filing of the report, Anand Bardhan, principal secretary (home), was not available for comments despite repeated phone calls. However, an official with the home department said that security cover to the VIPs or individuals was decided on the basis of threat perception.
“However many (given Y category) have no threat perception,” said an official who wanted to remain anonymous.
Among the seers who got Y category security, Shankaryacharya Rajrajeshwaram is considered close to the Congress leadeship. Yoga guru Ramdev, on the other hand, enjoys Z-category security provided by the union home ministry.
UP CM’s parents stay in the Pauri Garhwal district.