Yoga guru Baba Ramdev’s Haridwar-based food park has got a full-time CISF security cover with armed commandos, a facility extended by the Centre to only a handful of corporate entities like Infosys, Reliance and Tata Steel.
During his annual interaction with the Media, CISF Director General Surender Singhsaid the force has recently received the Government’s order in this regard and 35 armed men will be deployed at the facility and the “client” — Patanjali Food and Herbal Park Private Limited — will bear the entire cost of the deployment.
A squad of 35 CISF men had been deployed at the facility in mid 2015 for temporary security duties after some protests erupted there and following the fresh orders they will be deployed there round the clock, a senior official said.
The move assumes significance as CISF cover is very sparingly granted to the private sector. The food park will be the eighth such unit which will be guarded by the paramilitary force after it was first mandated for such tasks in the aftermath of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
Officials said the expenditure for security deployment at the multi-acre food park is estimated to be about Rs40 lakh per annum and logistical facilities for these men like barracks, armoury and vehicles will also be provided by the “client”.
Ramdev, a yoga exponent who has set up a business empire worth thousands of crores of rupees in FMCG segment including personal care and food products, is himself a ‘Z’ category protectee of CRPF.
The CISF contingent of the commandos will be headed by an Assistant Commandant-rank officer and will be deployed on a ‘quick reaction team’ pattern which entails stationing them in vantage positions. The teams react like they would in the wake of any terrorist attack or sabotage incident.
However, the routine entry and exit will be regulated by the staff and private security hired by the client, they said.
They said a security and intelligence audit report before finalization of the deployment found that the food park has been facing a threat as it is visited by tourists, both foreign and domestic, and also is vulnerable from the point of view of local law and order disturbances as witnessed last year in June.
The paramilitary was tasked to secure private sector entities after the Government brought an amendment to the CISF Act post-26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.
The other seven concerns in the private sector, guarded by the Central Industrial Security Force are Electronics City Bengaluru, Infosys campuses in Bengaluru, Mysore and Pune, Reliance Refinery and Petrochemicals in Jamnagar, Coastal Gujarat Power Ltd project executed by the Tata group in Mundra and the Tata Steel project based in Odisha’s Kalinganagar.
The DG said the paramilitary will recruit as many as 10,060 personnel in different ranks in 2016. A proposal for increasing the strength of the force from present 1.42 lakh to 2 lakh is also pending with the Union Home Ministry.
The DG said the Delhi International Airport DIAL witnessed 62 unidentified objects in its air space since October 27 till date.
“These objects, however, like toy balloons, kites, Chinese balloons among others. It is very difficult to make out (about the kind of the flying objects with naked eyes),” Singh said.
The DG said the Government will soon come out with “operational guidelines” and define the responsibility of different stakeholders to tackle such cases after a similar incident was reported late last year when a suspected drone-like object was spotted near Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) runway.