Two days after the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) took over the charge of security of the Gandhi family, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra continues to live in the government accommodation at Lodhi Estate. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, a private citizen, was allotted Type IV bungalow in February 1997 on recommendation of the SPG, home ministry and cabinet secretariat. With SPG cover gone, she is yet to vacate her government accommodation, considering she does not hold any public office.
The SPG cover provided to Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi her children Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was withdrawn and replaced by CRPF on Monday. The CRPF personnel reviewed the arrangements. They are currently being assisted by SPG.
Delhi: CRPF is reviewing the security arrangement of Congress Interim President Sonia Gandhi’s house after SPG was removed from the protection of Gandhi family and they were accorded Z Plus security of CRPF. pic.twitter.com/DQpuYhh3vX
— ANI (@ANI) November 13, 2019
A group of commandos of the special VVIP security unit of the central paramilitary force, armed with Israeli X-95, AK series and MP-5 guns, have been placed at the residence of Rahul Gandhi at Tughlaq Lane. Another team has taken over the security of Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s house in Lodhi Estate.
According to the reports, CRPF commandos took over the security at Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s 10 Janpath residence on Monday. Similarly, a contingent of CRPF force has also been deployed at the residence of Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi for his ‘Z-plus security’ cover.
The three leaders were given ‘Z-plus security’ by the Centre after their Special Protection Group (SPG) was removed. Following the withdrawal, the CRPF will also guard the premises of the three members of the Gandhi family besides a security cover an all-India basis.
According to the authorisation approved by the Union Home Ministry, the new CRPF cover provides for an advanced security liaison (ASL) drill for the three VVIPs that will enable the commandos to conduct an advance reconnaissance of the venues and area to be visited by them. The security contingent will also have a dog squad component with them.
Reportedly, the officials of the SPG will be aiding the CRPF in the task for some days. Later on, the CRPF security team will provide the protection independently with assistance from Delhi Police in the national capital and respective state’s police outside Delhi.
The Home Ministry had decided to replace the SPG category status of the Gandhi family with Z-plus security after the intelligence agencies had conducted a detailed review of threat perception of the Gandhis and had advised downgrading of security protection accorded to them from SPG cover to ‘Z-plus security’.
The intelligence agencies had concluded that while evaluating the danger posed to the Gandhis, that their safety would be ensured by replacing the SPG with ‘Z-plus’. The ‘Z plus’ security means the Gandhis will be guarded by around 100 CRPF personnel.
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. The threat perception to individuals is annually evaluated and a decision is taken based on the appraisal arrangements for security after evaluation.