The centre issued fresh guidelines to security cover for the Gandhis, making it mandatory for SPG personnel to accompany them at all times whenever they travel abroad.
The Special Protection Group (SPG) an elite list of guards that protect the Prime Minister and former Prime Ministers and their relatives. Currently, Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi and daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra enjoy protection from this elite force.
Until now any SPG protectee would travel abroad along with SPG guards, but these personnel would accompany them only till their first location abroad and then return.
Now, the new guidelines also make it mandatory for the Gandhi family to submit all details related to their travel. They have been asked to supply information of their past few tours as well.
They union government has made it clear that nonacceptance of these new guidelines could lead to curtailment on their foreign visits on account of security considerations
The SPG was set up in 1985 after the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, and Parliament passed the SPG Act in 1988 dedicating the group to protecting the Prime Minister of India. In 1989, VP Singh government had withdrawn the SPG protection given to the outgoing PM Rajiv Gandhi.
After Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in 1991, the SPG Act was amended, offering SPG protection to all former Prime Ministers and their families for a period of at least 10 years. The rule was amended again in 2002 to make provision for an annual review. Former prime ministers such as HD Deve Gowda also lost their SPG cover after a review.
In August, the Narendra Modi government withdrew the Special Protection Group (SPG) from former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s security cover.
Source : Various