Friday, June 18, 2021
Home News Reports Gandhis' security protection may be downgraded to 'Z plus', may lose SPG cover if...

Gandhis’ security protection may be downgraded to ‘Z plus’, may lose SPG cover if Centre accepts intelligence agencies inputs

Recently, the central government had also made some changes in the security cover provided to former PM Manmohan Singh.

“The intelligence agencies, after a detailed review of threat perception of the Gandhis, have advised downgrading of security protection accorded to them from SPG cover to “Z plus security”, reports The Sunday Guardian.

If at all centre accepts the centre’s recommendation, then the Gandhis – Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi would lose their SPG cover and will be replaced with a ‘Z plus’ security.  At present, only Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the three Gandhis are recipients of proximate security by SPG personnel.

The agencies intelligencies have concluded that while evaluating the danger posed to the Gandhis, that their safety would be ensured by replacing the SPG with ‘Z plus’. As of now-former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, top BJP leaders LK Advani and Murali Manohar Joshi, as well as Defence Minister Rajnath Singh are under ‘Z Plus’ protection. Union Home Minister Amit Shah has been accorded with a ‘Z special’ category security.

Read: ‘Possible assassination attempt’ on Rahul Gandhi turned out to be camera flashed by AICC photographer

However, the withdrawal could be controversial as some argue that two members of the Gandhi family, both former Prime Ministers were brutally assassinated and that the withdrawal of the SPG could have wide-ranging political ramifications. While former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards following Operation Bluestar in 1984, ex-PM Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in 1991 when he was not holding the post.

The threat perception to individuals is annually evaluated and a decision is taken based on the appraisal arrangements for security after evaluation. An expert committee from various intelligence agencies put forth their recommendations to the Home Ministry and the Cabinet Secretariat, where the final decision is taken after due consultation with the government.

Recently, in a bid to strengthen the security cover provided to the Gandhis and to keep track of their movements, the Special Protection Group (SPG), which provides protection to them, was also tasked with a fresh mandate by the Centre. The Gandhi family has been notified that they should allow SPG personnel to accompany them all the time when they travel abroad. In case, if they are not willing to accept the mandatory SPG protection then there could be curtailment on their foreign visits on account of security considerations.

The Gandhis – Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and daughter Priyanka Gandhi would earlier travel with the SPG till their first location abroad, who would then send the SPG personnel back to the country, preferring their own privacy. The Gandhis would then travel to destinations of their choice, thereby making themselves susceptive to risks.

Read: Before claiming ‘assassination attempt by sniper rifle’, Congress should have at least understood it could not have been a sniper rifle at all

For instance, if any of the Gandhis was travelling to Thailand, the SPG would escort them till there and thereafter fly back to New Delhi. From Thailand, the family of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi would be on their own with Indian missions coordinating with the local police for ensuring their safety.

The SPG was formed in 1985, as a protection unit for the Prime Minister, after the assassination of Indira Gandhi by her own security guards. It was set up after the submission of the Birbal Nath committee report and formalised under an Act in 1988. In the beginning, sharpshooters from the IPS, as well as other ranks from various state police organisations, paramilitary outfits and the intelligence agencies were inducted into the elite squad. S. Subramaniam was made its first director. Presently, the SPG has more than 3,000 personnel who guard Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sonia Gandhi and her son and daughter, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, respectively.

With centre issuing new guidelines, the Gandhis have to now submit every minute detail of their travel plans. They have been asked to supply information of their past few tours as well. The direction will also enable the Centre to keep track of their movements while ensuring their protection.

Presently, the standard operating procedure is whenever a protectee arrives in any country, the Indian mission will coordinate with the local police and other authorities to ensure the security cover. The SPG only provides proximate protection. This arrangement will remain unaltered except that the SPG would have a more noticeable and pronounced role. The arrangement of the SPG being ever-present with their protectee had existed in the past as well, but the financial implications had compelled the then government to review the terms of engagement.

Recently, the central government had also made some changes in the security cover provided to former PM Manmohan Singh. As per reports, the SPG security provided to Dr Manmohan Singh was replaced with CRPF staff. The Gandhi Parivar was given the SPG protection after the assassination of both Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.

Reportedly, senior police officials and security experts had held that if the SPG cover had not been withdrawn from Rajiv Gandhi by the VP Singh government, an attack against him would have not been possible. After his death, a close aide of Rajiv Gandhi had stated that Sonia Gandhi had lost complete faith in the Indian security apparatus and till the SPG was provided to her, she continued to be guarded by private security personnel hired by her well-wishers.

In the past, the SPG has also been used to keep surveillance on the protectee. Reportedly, former Prime Minister PV Narasimha Rao had deployed the SPG personnel comprised of IB officials at 10, Janpath, to keep tabs on the visitors of Sonia Gandhi.

The Centre is also considering a proposal to amend the SPG Act to include only the serving Prime Minister and perhaps the President under its jurisdiction.”

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

UP: Woman alleges harassment, obscene messages by police officer in Sultanpur, SP orders investigation. Details of the case

After the case was highlighted on the social media, Sultanpur police have informed that they have suspended a constable involved in the case and the accused inspector has been ordered to report at the police lines.

Farmer org releases unclear video to claim man committed suicide at Tikri border, clearer video shows man accusing ‘farmer’ of setting him on fire

A man was burnt alive and succumbed to his injuries after visiting the Tikri border where farmers are protesting

Haryana: Man burnt alive to make him ‘martyr’ against farm laws, villagers demand security from ‘farmers’ at Tikri border

As per reports, casteist slurs were hurled towards Mukesh after which he was set on fire. A video of him being set on fire has gone viral on social media where one can hear casteist abuses being thrown at him before he was set ablaze.

How a personal animosity was turned into defaming ‘Jai Shri Ram’ chant: All you need to know about Ghaziabad incident

The chronology of what all transpired in the fake 'hate crime' story where an elderly Muslim man claimed he was attacked and forced to chant 'Jai Shri Ram'

Mamata Banerjee govt recommends suspension of several accounts from Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, for criticising her: What we know

Sources indicate that Govt of West Bengal recently recommended the suspension of over 200 accounts for criticising Mamata Banerjee

The churn in Bengal BJP is normal and on expected lines. Here is why I don’t worry too much about it

Candidates don’t matter so much in Bengal, party affiliations do. The TMC proved this beyond all possible doubt in 2021.

Recently Popular

Pakistani audience go ballistic over Zee5 web series featuring Muslim girl-Indian Hindu boy love story, call it ‘haram’

The Pakistani web series features the love story between a Pakistani Muslim girl and Indian Hindu boy who have both lost their fathers to the conflict between the two nations.

Dhruv Rathee fans mark YouTuber Karolina Goswami for targeted harassment after she exposed his lies

After Karolina Goswami pointed out the factual errors and mistakes in the Dhruv Rathee video, Rathee's supporters have been harassing and abusing Goswami.

Ghaziabad fake hate crime case: Unmuted video of elderly man seconds before he was beaten up released. Watch

In the video, Abdul can be heard admitting that one Intezar sent some people to him to make the 'tabeez' (occult amulet) and put them in his spell as he had some work from them.

AAP celebrates Delhi’s new architectural marvel, the Moti Nagar speed breaker

AAP's Moti Nagar MLA has recently inaugurated a speed breaker, along with dozens of supporters flouting social distancing norms.

Twitter India MD told Delhi Police he does not know directors and owner of his company, details of his boss: Feigning ignorance or...

Twitter India MD Manish Maheshwari said he does know who owns Twitter India, and which company his boss Yu Sasamoto belongs to

Virtual hearing embarrassment: Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi caught attending the court proceedings without pants

Abhishek Manu Singhvi was caught attending court proceedings in boxer shorts when one of the screens accidentally fell off and showed the naked legs of the senior advocate
- Advertisement -

 

Connect with us

255,564FansLike
554,234FollowersFollow
24,400SubscribersSubscribe