The Centre has decided to take charge of former Chief Minister Panneerselvan's personal security. The leader will be provided Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) cover in the state under Y-plus category, The Times of India reported.
According to the report, the state director general of police was informed by the Union Home Ministry that Panneerselvam will be included in the central list of Y-plus category protectees.
This comes at a time when Panneerselvam is fighting a crucial bypoll in RK Nagar, against the Sasikala faction of AIADMK and the DMK.
There are reportedly two significant aspects to the communication received by the state police.
The first being that the Centre did not provide a reason for taking over the security of the former Chief Minister, therefore belying a lack of trust in the impartiality and effectiveness in the security cover provided by the state.
The second is that the CRPF protection will extend to other states, if the former Chief Minister chooses to visit.
This is being seen as a direct sign of support from the Centre for Panneerselvam. On 21 March, a delegation led by AIADMK MP and Panneerselvam loyalist V Maitreyan reportedly met the Union Home Minister and sought central security for the ex-Chief Minister in view of the all the travelling that he will be doing for the by-election.
Y-plus security involves an escort vehicle, personal security officer and a security detail of one guard commander and four guards for security at residence. The guards will have an officer of the level of sub-inspector and three policemen with automatic weapons for any contingency.
(This article was originally published on The News Minute.)