Centre withdraws Gandhi family’s SPG cover, Z+ security to continue

The Centre on Friday withdrew the Special Protection Group (SPG) security cover of the members of the Gandhi family–Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. They will now be accorded Z+ security which will be provided by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel.

The decision was taken at a high-level meeting of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) after threat assessment was done from all agencies. According to the intelligence bureau, there is no direct threat to the Gandhi family.

In 1991, after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, it was decided to give SPG cover to former prime ministers also. The security cover of all former prime ministers were reviewed from time to time and downgraded whenever required.

In August, the security of former prime minister Manmohan Singh was also removed and the security of the Z + category was given.

The MHA had said that the review of security cover is a periodical and professional exercise and it is done on the basis of threat perception that is based on an assessment undertaken by security agencies. “The current security cover review is a periodical and professional exercise based on threat perception that is purely based on professional assessment by security agencies. Dr Manmohan Singh continues to have a Z+ security cover,” the MHA had said.

It is to be noted that the MHA gives SPG cover to former prime ministers and their families based on threat perception.