The security cover of the opposition’s presidential nominee Meira Kumar has been upgraded to the top most ‘Z+’ category, under which she will have round-the-clock protection of armed security personnel. Kumar, a former Lok Sabha speaker, was yesterday chosen as the opposition’s candidate to contest the presidential poll. Kumar, who was being provided with ‘X’ category security, will be provided with ‘Z+’ security cover by the Delhi Police, official sources said today. Under ‘X’ category, the protectee gets one security personnel, armed with semi-automatic rifle, round the clock.
The enhanced security cover entails about 36 security personnel, including commandos, protecting an individual whose threat perception is assessed to be very high by central intelligence agencies. The protectee also gets pilot and escort vehicles, with armed security personnel. The NDA’s presidential nominee Ram Nath Kovind has already been given ‘Z+’ and NSG security cover by the central government. A squad of 10-12 armed NSG commandos will be with Kovind, along with escort and pilot vehicles.
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The NSG commandos will move around with Kovind, who is expected to travel across the country extensively to meet legislators and leaders of political parties to seek support for his candidature. Seventy-one-year-old Kovind is a low-profile Dalit activist and a two-term former BJP Rajya Sabha member. The NSG protects high-profile politicians such as Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, senior BJP leader L K Advani, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. The presidential election is scheduled to be held on July 17. President Pranab Mukherjee completes his five-year term on July 24.v