The minister reiterated that the decision to ban red beacons was part of the Modi government’s philosophy that every citizen of the country was a VIP.
New Delhi: A day after the Narendra Modi government banned the use of red beacons atop VIP vehicles, information and broadcasting minister M. Venkaiah Naidu clarified on Thursday that there were no plans to curtail VIP security.
His comments came after concerns were expressed in some sections that the move to ban red beacons could lead to cutting down of security for persons with threat perceptions.
“With regard to security, it is necessary in the interest of the country because important people have to be protected. Otherwise, there is no preferential treatment,” Mr Naidu said.
The Union Cabinet cleared on Wednesday a proposal that red beacons would not be used by anybody from May 1 onwards, saying even the PM, the President and judges were not exempt.
The minister reiterated that the decision to ban red beacons was part of the Modi government’s philosophy that every citizen of the country was a VIP. “This way we also send a message that every person should be treated equally,” he said.
Only emergency services such as ambulances and fire brigades can have beacons. “I have never used it, but I don’t publicise it. I hope everybody will follow the decision,” the minister said. The minister also hoped that state governments would follow the lead of the Centre and shun the use of beacons.
Speaking on the sidelines of a workshop for government officials engaged in social media outreach, Mr Naidu said this medium of communication cannot be censored. “We have to think about it and discuss because we cannot think of censoring social media. The society has to discuss and then come to a conclusion at the end of the day,” he said.
His comments seemingly came in the wake of a string of videos, related to Jammu and Kashmir and security personnel, being leaked on various social media platforms.