PM’s security enhanced in view of Maoist threat

In view of the alleged threat from Maoists, the Centre has decided to enhance the security cover of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Photo: PTI. Courtesy: The Asian Age

In view of the alleged threat from Maoists, the Centre has decided to enhance the security cover of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, particularly when he is conducting a road show or attending any “outdoor event”. 

Sources said the Ring Round Team (RRT), provided by the Special Protection Group (SPG), will be further strengthened with more police personnel from Central armed police forces as well as state police in the second and third round of outer security cordon at events attended by the PM.

The decision to enhance the Prime Minister’s security was taken at a high-level meeting chair-ed by home minister Rajnath Singh and national security advisor Ajit Doval on Monday along with senior officials from multiple intelligence and security agencies. Sources said the decision to review and further revamp PM’s security was taken in the wake of a letter recently recovered from some Naxal sympathisers which mentions PM Modi being targeted in a “Rajiv Gandhi-type assassination attempt” during his road shows.

Last week home minister had said that the government was concerned about the PM’s security and all necessary steps would be taken to ensure that his the security cover is foolproof. Mr Singh had also said that Maoists are fighting a loosing battle and their area of influence has been reduced to a large extent.

The PM’s inner security cordon is managed by the elite SPG, while para-military and local police are roped in for managing the outer cordon as well as for crowd control. The SPG, which was formed through an Act of Parliament, also provides security cover to some former Prime Ministers as well as their family members.

“As an immediate measure, more SPG personnel would be put on duty as part of the PM’s RRT and the number would be increased whenever the PM is attending an outdoor event, especially road shows where he is more exposed to the possibility of an attack. The SPG co-ordination teams will visit the venues well in advance where PM’s event is to be held for better security arrangements by the local police. We will also ensure more use of technology like drones for better surveillance of venues and the crowd. Since PM would be travelling a lot in the days ahead due to Assembly elections in three states, all necessary steps would be taken,” a senior security official said.

The Pune police, in connection with investigations into the Bhima-Koregaon violence last December, had allegedly recovered a letter talking of targeting the Prime Minister from Rona Wilson who has been arrested along with five others following multiple raids in Delhi, Mumbai and Nagpur.

The letter, which was apparently addressed to one Comrade Prakash and written by some R, mentions arranging Rs 8 crore and procuring sophisticated weapons like M-4 rifles along with large quantity of ammunition, for a possible attack on the Prime Minister.