Security cover of VIPs

  • Category
    Internal Security
  • Published
    3rd Sep, 2019

The Government recently downgraded the security cover of former PM Manomhan Singh, from Special Protection Group (SPG) to Z plus of the CRPF. The security cover of several other VIPs too has been downgraded.

Context

The Government recently downgraded the security cover of former PM Manomhan Singh, from Special Protection Group (SPG) to Z plus of the CRPF. The security cover of several other VIPs too has been downgraded.

About

  • There are largely six types of security covers: X, Y, Y plus, Z, Z plus and SPG.
  • While SPG is meant only for the PM and his immediate family, other categories can be provided to anyone about whom the Centre or state governments have inputs about facing a threat.
  • X category on an average entails just one gunman protecting the individual.
  • Y has one gunman for mobile security and one (plus four on rotation) for static security.
  • Y plus has two policemen on rotation for security and one (plus four on rotation) for residence security.
  • Z has six gunmen for mobile security and two (plus eight) for residence security.
  • Z plus has 10 security personnel for mobile security and two (plus eight) for residence security.

Special protection Group

  • The SPG is a force raised specifically for the protection of the PM, former PMs and their immediate family.
  • The elite force is highly trained in physical efficiency, marksmanship, combat and proximate protection tactics and is assisted by all central and state agencies to ensure fool proof security.
  • SPG Special Agents assigned to the PM security detail wear black, Western-style formal business suits, with sunglasses, and carry a two-way encrypted communication earpiece, and concealed handguns

SPG Act

  • The SPG was set up in 1985 after the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, and Parliament passed the SPG Act in 1988 on recommendations of Birbal Nath Committee dedicating the group to protecting the Prime Minister of India.
  • At the time, the Act did not include former Prime Ministers, and when V.P. Singh came to power in 1989 his government withdrew SPG protection 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.
  • In 2003, the Vajpayee government also amended the SPG Act to bring the period of automatic protection down from 10 years to “a period of one year from the date on which the former Prime Minister ceased to hold office” and beyond one year based on the level of threat as decided by the Central Government.
  • It functions under Cabinet Secretariat of India.
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