Ex-CMs are not exempt: IG clarifies after Naidu frisked at Vijayawada airport

Two days after former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu was frisked at the Vijayawada airport and denied VIP treatment while boarding his flight on Friday, a senior official has clarified that the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) President is not exempt from the procedure.

After being frisked, Naidu had to travel in a bus along with other passengers, to reach his flight, which had triggered a row. The TDP said  that the attitude of authorities was not only ‘insulting’, but also compromised on Naidu’s security as he had the benefits of ‘Z plus’ category security. 

In a press note issued on Sunday, Inspector General of Police, Andhra Pradesh, E Damodar said, “Having worked as SP VIP Security for nearly 3 years, I intend to clarify the factual rule position (on the frisking).”

Citing a circular by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) which laid down the categories of persons exempt from security screening before embarking on any aircraft, Damodar said, “Former CMs, even with Z plus category, are not exempt.”

He also gave the example of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and pointed out that she was subject to security screening after she stepped down from her post, until she took up the issue with the Ministry of Civil Aviation and secured an exemption.

“Security Agencies, whether CISF, AP Special Protection Force at Gannavaram Airport, or any other private agency have to abide by the circulars of BCAS,” the official said.

“In view of the foregoing rule position, I request the general public not to blame anybody and lend a word of appreciation to the security personnel at Gannavaram Airport for carrying out their duties professionally as per the rules,” he added. 

Earlier in the week, TDP leader and former state Home Minister Chinna Rajappa said that Naidu never had to face this situation though he was in opposition for many years. He demanded the central and state governments to ensure proper security to Naidu.

Currently, Naidu is under ‘Z Plus’ category protection and his security detail includes members from the elite National Security Guard (NSG) apart from Andhra Pradesh police’s Intelligence Security Wing, for which exemptions can be made at airports, either on the basis of protocol, or on grounds of security.

Naidu had survived a claymore mine attack by Maoists on October 1, 2003 in Tirupati. The Z plus category is considered second only to SPG cover; the highest in the country, and involves round-the-clock personal security with NSG commandos and an escort, a pilot and tailing vehicles.

Article source: https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/ex-cms-are-not-exempt-ig-clarifies-after-naidu-frisked-vijayawada-airport-103745


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