Assam musician provided security after ULFA threat

Guwahati, April 20 (IANS) The Assam government has provided security to the state’s popular singer Zubeen Garg despite his reluctance following the threat from the anti-talk faction of the ULFA for defying its diktat against singing Hindi songs during the Bihu festivities.

The singer initially refused to accept the personnel security officers (PSOs) provided to him by the state government but he had bow down to the pressure from the government considering the threat by the militants.

Assam’s Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) S.N. Singh said: “He (Garg) was reluctant initially but later accepted the PSOs. He was provided with two PSOs and an escort. Besides, there will be special security arrangements in those places wherever he goes to perform.”

Singh said that all the districts had been alerted to make security arrangements wherever the singer has his performances booked.

Garg, who had refused to bow down to the diktat of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) faction, however, said that he does not need any security as he feels more safe among the people.

“I go to places because people invite me to sing. They love me so much. I feel safe among the masses,” he said.

He also asserted that he would not stop singing Hindi songs. “It is meaningless to ask someone to sing in Hindi. I’ll keep on singing in Hindi, Bengali, Tamil and in other languages too,” he said.

“I told the administration that I don’t need security. Actually, I don’t have the habit of having security personnel with me. I keep on roaming in various places and it is difficult for the security personnel to follow me everywhere. However, the PSOs and the escort were provided to me,” said the singer.

The famous singer and heartthrob of the younger generation faced the threat after he performed “Ya Ali” -one of his most popular songs – during one of the cultural functions during the Bihu festival here April 16. The song topped charts across India, the Middle East and South Asia.

Garg, during the function also said that Hindi is the “national language” of India and that he loves it.

The ULFA had slammed the singer as they had on April 10 they urged the singers and artistes to refrain from singing or performing Hindi tunes on stage during the Rongali Bihu.

The singer, however, was seen performing almost all his famous numbers including Hindi songs during the functions even after the threat from the outfit.

However, the administration have tightened security arrangements wherever the singer performs.

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