New Delhi: The close protection security cover provided to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by the elite Special Protection Group (SPG) has been withdrawn.
Sources said this came after a “detailed threat perception and due diligence” by various agencies. The former PM will continue to get Z-plus protection which would likely be provided by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). While the force’s Ring Round Team will protect Dr. Singh, the CRPF’s Special Deployment Group will oversee his residence. The SPG will withdraw once the CRPF is fully in place.
VIP security review and threat perception is a routine exercise conducted regularly by a team of experts across agencies. “In the past, the CRPF has been deployed for former PMs like P.V. Narasimha Rao, I.K. Gujral and H.D. Deve Gowda, rather than the SPG,” a senior official said.
Besides the current PM, the SPG now protects the members of former PM Rajiv Gandhi’s family, namely Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
As per SPG security protocol, a former PM or his family gets cover for a year after demitting office. Dr Singh’s daughters voluntarily gave up their SPG cover after he stepped down in 2014.
The SPG was raised in 1985 following Indira Gandhi’s assassination. It was amended to include former PMs and their families following Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination in 1991....