It will be after 28 years that Gandhis will be without a SPG (Special Protection Group) cover. Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will no more be protected by the elite SPG commandos. Gandhis were included in the VVIP security list following an amendment in September 1991 in the SPG Act of 1988. Only Prime Minister Narendra Modi is now a SPG protectee. The Gandhi family will now be covered by CRPF personnel under the Z-plus security. The decision was taken after a detailed security assessment meeting at the Home Ministry on Friday.
What it means for Gandhi family:
Under Z-plus security, Gandhis will have commandos from the paramilitary force in close proximity besides guards at their homes and wherever they travel in the country. SPG protectees are provided with guards, hi-tech vehicles, jammers and an ambulance in their carcade. Initially, the SPG Act was initially supposed to provide security to only the prime minister and former prime ministers of the country. The Act was amended after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi to include the immediate family members of former prime ministers, paving the way for Sonia Gandhi as well as her children to get SPG security.
The Special Protection Group (SPG) was formed in 1985 after the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her own bodyguards in 1984. SPG has a force of about 3,000 active personnel. It is responsible for zero-error security of the PM. SPG carries out anti-sabotage checks to sanitise venues where PM is to be present. SPG personnel are recruited from various armed units including the Indian Police Service, Central Reserve Police Force, Central Industrial Security Force, Border Security Force and Sashastra Seema Bal. The Special Protection Group (SPG) personnel undergo rigorous armed and unarmed combat training.
Z+ category has a security cover of 55 personnel [Including 10+ NSG Commando] + [Police Personnel]. Z-plus security cover is provided by National Security Guard commandos, who are armed with Heckler and Koch MP5 submachine guns and modern communication equipment. Each of them is adept in martial arts and unarmed combat skills.