Yoga guru Ramdev’s Haridwar-based food park has got a full-time security cover of armed CISF commandos, a facility extended by the Centre to only a handful of private entities such as Infosys till now.
CISF Director General Surender Singh, during his annual media interaction here, said 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 said facility in the middle of last year for temporary security duties after some protests erupted there and after 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 Rs 40 lakh per annum and logistical facilities for these men like barracks, armoury and vehicles will also be provided by the “client”.
Ramdev, a Z category protectee
Ramdev, a yoga exponent who has set up a business empire worth thousands of crores of rupees in personal care and food products sector, is himself a ‘Z’ category protectee of central paramilitary forces.
Officials said sophisticated weapons toting CISF commando squad 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 like activity.
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. CISF was tasked to secure private sector entities after the government brought an amendment to the 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.