Hindu, Jan 19, 2006, W. Chandrakanth
HYDERABAD: Not many of the delegates seeking passes for attending the Congress plenary are aware of the fact that their requests are being subjected to a police scan in all the States.
Heightened security concerns have forced the AICC to route the clearance of many delegates through the Intelligence Bureau (IB) network for checking their antecedents. Though the IB did not enter the scene in the case of known entities like Ministers, MPs, MLAs and Pradesh Congress Committee presidents, the requests of many others for issue of identity cards were referred to the bureau.
Applications from Jammu & Kashmir and Assam are being subjected to the maximum scrutiny as these States have been receiving the highest attention of terrorist outfits. Party sources said Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir Ghulam Nabi Azad personally verified every application before forwarding it to the AICC. It took more than a week for these names to be finally cleared by intelligence agencies.
When it came to the host State – Andhra Pradesh– 72 names of Seva Dal volunteers had to be dropped at the instance of the State police. The AP contingent in the, 1,500-strong Seva Dal was expected to be 1,000 but this number has now come down.
IB clearance for AICC plenary delegates
Delegates for plenary will face random checks and questions at all the six entry points of the venue of the plenary at Gachibowli. Computers will be installed at all the check points where their details will be available.
The organisers had taken extra care in preparing a questionnaire with six queries for each State as they were asked to leave nothing to chance as the venue will be converted into a temporary national capital for three days with the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, and 15 Chief Ministers camping here.
The general secretary of the APCC, K.Yadav Reddy, explained "meticulous work had gone into framing these questions. We had to collect personal details of some leaders to be used for cross checking purpose."