BJP’s firebrand leader and the current chief minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath has been on the hit list of many terrorist organisations including the terror group Islamic State (IS). Earlier this year, his security was heightened after intelligence inputs mentioned that about two dozen terrorists posing as saffron-clad saints could target religious sites and other public places. The UP police said that the ISIS suspects arrested recently from UP had been living in rented houses, posing as tilak-wearing Hindus.
The threat perception to Yogi Adityanath has always remained very high. In 2008, he survived a deadly attack near Azamgarh by ‘home-grown subversive elements’. He was on his way to address an anti-terrorism rally, organised by BJP and Hindu Yuva Vahini, to protest a meeting organised in support of SIMI activist Abdul Bashar after his arrest.
Given the hostilities that Yogi may face in Azamgarh, his party members were well prepared and in the convoy, Yogi’s red SUV was the seventh in number. And as soon as his convoy reached Takia, a little before Azamgarh town, dozens of people armed with sticks attacked his convoy pelting stones at it and trying to torch the vehicles.
The TOI quoted the book as saying:
“Then came petrol bombs… It was a synchronised assault, planned well in advance. Its suddenness pulverised Yogi’s supporters. The fleet had been divided into three. Six vehicles had moved ahead and most of them were left far behind. But a few of them in the middle came under attack. Assailants had surrounded the vehicles and started attacking the occupants. They were hunting for their target. But he was nowhere to be found.”
When everyone started searching fanatically for him, it was found that Yogi had moved much farther ahead and was in fact, in the first SUV of the fleet. The change-over had been done at a PWD guesthouse when the convoy had taken a short break.
Later, police reached the spot and fired tear gas shells and bullets in the air to disperse both supporters and protesters. The situation was brought under control.
At present, the UP CM have about 25-28 commandos accompanying him with sophisticated weapons.