The Hush Post: Ministers and government officials will not be allowed to come too close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi unless cleared by the Special Protection Group (SPG). These are the new security guidelines which have been issued to states in the wake of an “all-time high” threat to the Prime Minister, the Home Ministry has said.
The ministry said that he is the “most valuable target” in the run-up to the 2019 general elections. No one, not even ministers and officers, should be allowed to come too close to the prime minister unless cleared by his special security, the Home Ministry communication said.
The prime minister’s security was reviewed threadbare recently, according to a news report. Home Minister Rajnath Singh held a meeting with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba and Director Intelligence Bureau Rajiv to review the prime minister’s security in the wake of inputs about threat to the Prime Minister’s life.
The close protection team (CPT) of the prime minister’s security has been briefed about the new set of rules and the threat assessment. The security personnel have been instructed to frisk even a minister or an officer, if necessary.
Maoist-hit states like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal were termed as sensitive by the Home ministry. Kerala-based Popular Front of India (PFI) is on the radar of security agencies for being a conglomeration of radical groups.
The security assessment comes in the wake of disclosure by the Pune Police in a court on June 7 that they had seized a “letter” in Delhi from the house of a person arrested for having alleged “links” with the banned CPI (Maoist). The letter mentioned a plan to “assassinate” Modi in “another Rajiv Gandhi-type incident”, the police had told the court. Recently, the security agencies were dazed when a man broke a six-tier security cover to touch the prime minister’s feet during a recent visit to West Bengal.
The SPG has advised Modi, the main campaigner for the ruling BJP, to cut down on road shows, in the run up to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. He has been advised to address public rallies as a safer option.