GUWAHATI, June 1 - Though the number of vehicles in the convoy of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has been reduced drastically according to his wishes, his security has not been compromised as the threat perception cannot be overlooked. On the other hand, the security cover of two former Chief Ministers, who are protected by the National Security Guards (NSG), has not been reduced.
Highly placed police sources told The Assam Tribune that immediately after assuming office as the Chief Minister, Sonowal had expressed the view that the number of vehicles in his convoy should be reduced drastically as compared to his predecessor�s. Sonowal was of the view that the common people should not suffer because of his movements. He also pointed out that in Delhi, a number of Central Ministers move around with much less security cover and there was no need for moving around in a convoy of large number of vehicles and create inconvenience to the common people.
Sources said that as per the wishes of Sonowal, the number of vehicles in his convoy has been reduced but at the same time, his security was not compromised with. Security personnel are being deployed in the routes where he is moving and domination of the roads through which the Chief Minister moves around has been increased. Sonowal has been given �Z Plus� security cover as no one is willing to take any chance.
Sources admitted that the number of vehicles in the convoy of former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi was kept on increasing in an unplanned manner and it is a fact that some of the vehicles used in the convoy were not actually required.
Sonowal has also been briefed thoroughly about the security precautions that he would have to take during his movements and while mingling with common people. During his recent visit to Dibrugarh and the first visit to his native village after assuming office as the Chief Minister, a large number of common people met Sonowal, but security personnel in plain cloth were deployed near him to keep a close watch on all the people.
Sources said that the Assam Police held a series of meetings to review the security of the Chief Minister, while inputs from the Central agencies were also taken. Sources pointed out that the United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent) and Songbijit faction of the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB) had given statements against the BJP before the elections. Moreover, according to inputs, the militant outfits were of the view that the BJP had taken a tougher stand against them. The outfits faced intensified operations after the BJP-led NDA Government assumed office in New Delhi and the NDFB(S) suffered severe setbacks after the operations against it were intensified due to the tough stand taken by the Centre. Under the circumstances, the threat perception on Sonowal cannot be overlooked and that is why, there would be no compromise on his security.
Sources said that the other Ministers are also provided with pilot and escort vehicles and their security is being reviewed periodically.
Police sources also said that two former Chief Ministers, Tarun Gogoi and Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, are still protected by the NSG and their security cover will not be reduced in near future.