Following the row over heavy security cover for Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray, MNS founder Raj Thackeray and Samajwadi Party leader Abu Asim Azmi, pressure is mounting on CM Vilasrao Deshmukh and his deputy R R Patil to slash the security provided to leading politicians. At present, nearly 125 persons enjoy special security entailing the deployment of 1,800 policemen-enough to man three police stations in the city. According to reports, a high-level committee comprising the Chief Secretary Johnny Joseph, Director General of Police A N Roy and the Mumbai Police Commissioner Hasan Gafoor has suggested downgrading the security cover provided to a section of politicians belonging to both the ruling and opposition parties but so far the government has not taken any decision. Earlier, two senior cabinet members-revenue minister Narayan Rane and irrigation minister Ajit Pawar had raised the issue of security cover to leading politicians, especially those belonging to the Samajwadi Party, the Shiv Sena and the MNS. Sources at the Mumbai Police opine that while there should be absolutely no compromise on the security provided to Sena chief Bal Thackeray, there was an urgent need to reassess the security cover extended to cabinet members, politicians, senior bureaucrats and IPS officials. If you ask the public, beyond any doubt, a city like Mumbai could do with more cops on duty for the public than at the service of politicians for whom security cover is becoming more of a status symbol. Sana Warsia – NMTV News.
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