Chandigarh: Days before AAP leader Bhagwant Mann takes over as the chief minister, the Punjab Police on Saturday ordered the withdrawal of nearly 400 personnel providing security to 122 former ministers and MLAs, including ex-cabinet ministers. However, personnel deployed on specific orders of the courts will not be withdrawn, the letter by the additional director general of police (security), dated March 11, to police commissioners, senior superintendents of police and other senior police officers mentioned.
The highest number of 21 commandos were withdrawn from former transport minister Amrinder Singh Raja Warring, followed by 19 from former finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal, 17 from former education minister Pargat Singh, 16 from former food and supplies minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu. Whereas, fifteen security personnel have been called back from former agriculture minister Randeep Singh Nabha and former forest minister Sangat Singh Gilzian. Navjot Kaur Sidhu, who is the wife of Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu and enjoys security of 7 personnels, will also lose her security cover.
The names of Congress leaders who have won the recent assembly elections — Rana Gurjeet Singh, Tript Rajender Singh Bajwa, Sukhbinder Sarkaria and Barindermeet Singh Pahra – also figure in the list.
Prominent among those who stand to lose their security cover are former ministers, Raj Kumar Verka, Brahm Mohindra, and former speaker K P Singh.
Additionally, the BJP and Shiromani Akali Dal leaders, who will lose their security cover are Daljit Singh Cheema, Tota Singh, Sikandar Singh Maluka, Chunni Lal Bhaga, Manoranjan Kalia, Anil Joshi, Dinesh Babbu Adesh Partap Singh Kairon, and former MLAs Sharanjit Dhillon and Pawan Kumar Tinu.
The list also includes the names of former AAP MLAs Jagtar Singh Jagga, Kanwar Sandhu, Amarjit Singh Sandoa and HS Phoolka.
Lok Insaaf Party’s Bains brothers — Simarjeet Bains and Balwinder Bains — will also lose their security cover.
Further, the list includes the name of former chief of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee and ex-MLA Gobind Singh Longowal.
Meanwhile, mentioning that the personnel deployed on specific court orders will remain, the letter stated, “In case any fresh, specific input regarding threat to a protectee is available with the local police, prior clearance may be obtained from ADGP/security, Punjab, before withdrawal of security.”