The Central government has provided ‘X’ category armed security cover of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) to four Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders in Punjab, top government sources said on Saturday.

Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued the order to the CRPF to provide ‘X-category’ round-the-clock protection to these BJP leaders after a security assessment based on Intelligence Bureau (IB) report indicating a threat to them.

Former Punjab cabinet ministers Balbir Singh Sidhu and Gurpreet Singh Kanga along with former MLA Jagdip Singh Nakai, as well as Amarjit Singh Tikka are among the BJP leaders who provided the security cover. All four leaders recently joined the BJP after dumping Congress.

The Centre in October had also provided ‘Y’ category’ security cover to five BJP leaders in Punjab based on a similar IB report.

The MHA used to provide ‘X’, ‘Y’, ‘Y+’, ‘Z’, and ‘Z+’ category security through Central Armed Police Forces CAPFs) like CRPF and Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) following threat assessment based on IB reports.

The MHA has tasked the CISF and the CRPF to render security cover to VIPs. Both the paramilitary forces have their exclusive VIP security wings of commandos, who possess sophisticated close-protection weapons. (ANI)