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Govt withdraws SPG cover for Gandhi family, CRPF to take over security: Sources

The Centre is set to withdraw the Gandhi family’s Special Protection Group security cover. The Gandhi family — Sonia, Rahul and Priyanka — will continue to have Z-plus security cover.

According to the sources, the security of the Gandhi family will now be taken over by commandos trained by the Central Reserve Police Force. The sources added that the decision to withdraw the SPG security cover has been taken after assessing threat inputs from all agencies.

In recent past, there has been no direct threat to the Gandhi family, according to sources.

Recently, the government had downgraded the security cover of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Singh’s security cover was downgraded from SPG to Z+.

Reacting on the reports, senior Congress leader Nana Patole said that the move was a cospiracy and a hidden agenda of the RSS. “The ountry know Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi made scarifices. The threat to Gandhi family is known,” Patole said, adding that the Congress will not allow anything to happen to the family.

The Special Protection Group is an elite armed force that provides proximate security to the Prime Minister of India and his or her family members. The SPG also protects former prime ministers for a certain time; this protection is reviewed periodically and is extended or downgraded.

The SPG was formed after the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi who was murdered while she was in office by her own bodyguards. Indira Gandhi was then protected by an ace unit of the Delhi Police. Indira Gandhi’s assassination led to the formation of the Special Security Group.

Later, another member of the Gandhi family — Indira’s son Rajiv — was also assassinated. Rajiv Gandhi was killed when he was not in office at a time when he did not have SPG security cover.

The assassinations of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi led to a heightened threat perception for the Gandhi family because of which it remained under SPG protection over the years.

Also Read | Former PM Manmohan Singh, wife get Z+ VIP CRPF security cover

Also Read | MHA downgrades Manmohan Singh’s security cover

Also Watch | SPG commando in Sonia Gandhi’s NSG team missing under suspicious circumstances


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