An RTI report has named Mukesh Ambani's children Anant, Isha and Akash, mother Kokilaben and Sachin Tendulkar's children Sara and Arjun among the list of people provided security by the Mumbai police. Prasanna D Zore reports.
As many as 353 men and women of the Mumbai police have been deployed to guard 190 people in the city who are presumably under a threat of some kind, a Right To Information report has revealed.
The report by the Mumbai police's Protection & Security Branch, filed in response to a RTI query by activist Chetan Kothari, throws up interesting facts.
The list of 'protectees' of the Mumbai police include legislators, builders, court witnesses, police personnel, corporators, film personalities, government and municipal officials and, of course, politicians and some of their relatives.
Mukesh Ambani's children Anant, Isha and Akash, mother Kokilaben and Sachin Tendulkar's children Sara and Arjun also figure among the list of people protected by the Mumbai police.
While four Mumbai policemen each protect Anant, Isha and Akash Ambani, another policeman is on duty with family matriarch Kokilaben Ambani at all hours.
Mukesh Ambani pays for the Mumbai police's protection provided to his mother and son, the report reveals.
Tendulkar's children Sara and Arjun have been assigned one policeman each for their protection on a non-payment basis, the report adds.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Sudhir Ranshivre -- who serves as the Public Information Officer of the Protection & Security Branch -- has signed the RTI report, Kothari told Rediff.com
Ranshivre, while refusing to discuss the reasons for providing a security detail to these individuals, told Rediff.com that protection is accorded to individuals who are considered to be under threat based on a security assessment conducted by the Mumbai Crime Branch.
"Security is provided only after due assessment," ACP Ranshivre said.
Tendulkar, he said, was an "Indian icon," adding that family members of prominent public personalities like the legendary cricketer always face threats.
Kothari, who accessed a similar report in August, said Kokilaben and Ambani's children had not been part of the 'protectee' list then.
"The police must have given protection to Ambani's children and Kokilabenji after reports surfaced about Mukesh Ambani receiving threats from the Indian Mujahideen," Kothari felt.
Mukesh Ambani received a letter, allegedly from the Indian Mujahideen, on February 24, 2013.
The letter, delivered by an unidentified man, threatened to harm India's richest man and warned that the terror outfit would strike at his palatial home, Anitillia, on south Mumbai's Altamount Road.
The letter cited Ambani's perceived proximity to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, now the Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate, as the reason for the threat.
While the Mumbai police are investigating the threat, Ambani has reportedly arranged for Z-category security for himself from the Central Industrial Security Force for Rs 10 lakh (Rs 1 million) per month.
When asked if there was any specific threat to the Ambanis and Tendulkars, Harvinder Kaur Varaich, deputy commissioner of police, Protection & Security Branch, refused to answer.
"I will not comment on the issue without seeing the RTI report in question," she told Rediff.com
"All security and protection on payment or non-payment basis is based on administrative rules mentioned in the government circular," the DCP said.
Anant, Akash and Isha Ambani, Kokilaben Ambani, Sara and Arjun Tendulkar fall under the category of 'others' on the list.
Image: Sachin Tendulkar with son Arjun and daughter Sara.