MHA beefs up Narayan Rane’s security in Mumbai to “Z” level

MUMBAI: The Ministry of Home Affairs, led by Amit Shah, on Friday upgraded the security cover of Union minister of micro, small and medium enterprises Narayan Rane from ‘Y-plus’ to ‘Z’ with immediate effect. The MHA has asked the Central Industrial Security Force to provide Z-category cover on all-India basis to Rane immediately. “Prima facie, it appears that Rane’s security has been upgraded in view of the threat perception. In such matters, state government is never consulted,’’ a senior IPS officer said.A week ago, Rane had declared that the Thackeray-led state government will be dislodged in March 2022. After Rane joined the BJP during the tenure of Devendra Fadnavis, he was provided with a Y-category security cover. However, it was withdrawn on January 8, 2021, when the state home department’s high-level threat perception committee reviewed the security provided to all leading politicians. At the time, security cover of quite a large number of BJP politicians was drastically reduced. Fadnavis, who had ‘Z-plus’ security cover since he was CM, was reduced to ‘Y-plus with escort’. Rane was completely de-categorised. As a result, he had only one police personnel for his security. Along with Rane, security cover of senior BJP leaders Raosaheb Danve, Ashish Shelar, former UP governor Ram Naik, Rajkumar Badole, former speaker Haribhau Bagde, Ram Kadam, Prasad Lad, Shobhatai Fadnavis and Madhav Bhandari was cut or withdrawn. In the recent past, the MHA had provided security cover to Rane after he took a firm stand against the MVA government led by Uddhav Thackeray. In fact, when Rane allegedly passed derogatory remarks against Thackeray, criminal cases were registered against him at three places and in one of the cases, he was arrested by the police. He was produced in court and released on bail. Currently, four persons in the state have Z-plus security cover, while 12 have ‘Z’ category cover. Those assigned Z-category have at least 17 police personnel in one shift to guard them.

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