The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Tuesday directed the state government to submit details on the security cover being provided to Telugu Desam Party President and former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu by July 9, the Hindustan Times reported. This came after state Advocate General Subrahmanyam Sriram told the court that Naidu was being given more security than what he was entitled to as the leader of opposition.
The court was acting on a petition filed by Naidu, which challenged the Jaganmohan
Reddy-led YSR Congress government’s decision to drastically reduce the security cover provided to him in the month after taking charge of the state.
Naidu claimed that there was a threat to his life from Maoists and asked for the security to be restored. In October 2003, Naidu had survived a claymore mine bomb attack by the Maoists at Alipiri, the foothills of Tirumala and was since then provided Z plus security, involving commandos from the elite National Security Guard.
Last week, Reddy had withdrawn two chief police officers, apart from a 15-member special police team headed by two armed reserve inspectors from Naidu’s security detail.
“Apart from Maoists, Naidu also has a threat to his life from red sanders smugglers, because of the stringent action he had taken against them during his tenure,” Senior Advocate Subba Rao, who represented the former chief minister in court, was quoted as saying.
However, the state advocate general said: “In all, 74 security personnel have been providing him security in different shifts and at different places, including National Security Guards provided by the Centre...As an opposition leader, he is entitled to only 58 security personnel.”
A High Court bench headed by Justice U Durga Prasad issued notice to the state government asking it to submit a detailed affidavit of all the security personnel by July 9.
The state government had withdrawn security at Naidu’s residence in Amaravati and in his native place Naravaripalle in Chittoor district after the TDP lost in the recently concluded Assembly elections. The security cover for his family members was also withdrawn and his son Nara Lokesh was given only two constables for protection.