HYDERABAD: The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) will now be providing security for vaccine manufacturer Bharat Biotech's premises in Hyderabad from Monday to protect it against any terror threat or sabotage. This was following a directive issued by the Union Home ministry to provide an armed security cover to the premises of the company.
A contingent of 64 personnel headed by an inspector-rank officer of the paramilitary force, was inducted at a ceremony held at the Genome Valley in the Shameerpet area of Telangana's capital city. Bharat Biotech produces a number of vaccines, including Covaxin, one of the three vaccines authorised in the country to be injected for COVID-19 immunisation, with Covishield and Sputnik V being the other two.
#CISF, the frontline warriors, in line of commitment to protect and safeguard the critical national assets, today took the guard of premier life saving vaccine production facility of Bharat Biotech Intnl Ltd in Hyderabad with 64 personnel. pic.twitter.com/Q9qpom5Rl6— CISF (@CISFHQrs) June 14, 2021
Bharat Biotech chairman and managing director (CMD) Dr Krishna Ella, joint MD Dr Suchitra Ella, CISF Inspector General in-charge of the southern sector Anjana Sinha and Deputy IG (south zone-II) Shyamala Dinavahi were part of the induction ceremony.
A statement issued by the CISF said Bharat Biotech is an Indian bio-technology company engaged in drug discovery, drug development and manufacture of vaccines, bio-therapeutics, pharmaceuticals and healthcare products.
The force will now control access to the facility and its armed troops, including a vehicle-borne quick response team (QRT), will be stationed at vantage positions in case of a terrorist attack or sabotage.
"In the light of the increased threat perception to the biotechnology company, BBIL is inherently vulnerable to threats from anti-nationals and saboteurs. The CISF will provide a round-the-clock armed security cover to the Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL), Hyderabad," a CISF spokesperson said.
It may be recollected Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla had spoken out about the pressures he was under over the production of COVID-19 vaccines to meet the high demand in India during the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. He was provided with Y plus category security by the Indian government. The Poonawalla has spoken about receiving aggressive calls from some of the most powerful people in India, demanding supplies of Covishield - the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine that the Serum Institute is producing. He had left for London to be with his wife and children for an extended time and stated that he didn’t want back to that situation as he could not handle the pressure of supplying the vaccines to whoever asked. According to Indian government officials, Poonawalla was given protection in view of “potential threats” to him. Armed commandos of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) will be with him every time he travels to any part of the country, they said and added that the Y plus security cover will entail a posse of about 4-5 armed commandos.