Amid SPG debate, security breach reported at Priyanka’s residence

security breach, SPG, Z-plus security, assassination of prime ministers
Congress leaders in Parliament have been demanding the Centre to restore the SPG cover withdrawn from the Gandhis. Photo: PTI File

A month after the Centre replaced the SPG (Special Protection Group) cover given to the Gandhi family with Z-plus security, a security breach has been reported at the residence of Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi at Delhi’s Lodhi Estate.

The security breach comes in the backdrop of vehement demands by the Congress in Parliament to restore the SPG cover to the Gandhi family as well as former prime minister Manmohan Singh.

Reports said a group of five people including a girl, drove up to the porch of Gandhi’s residence and walked to her, asking for a photograph with her. According to reports, the family had come all the way from a town in Uttar Pradesh, just to meet the Congress leader.

Also read: Change in SPG rule brings Gandhis under govt surveillance; Cong cries foul

Gandhi’s office confirmed the breach and said the matter has been taken up with the CRPF.

While the family had not taken an appointment prior to the visit, Gandhi’s security detail including CRPF officials were also not aware of the same. The visitors were allowed into the compound without providing identity proof.

“Yes it (security breach) did happen, but no hell broke loose at all. She chatted to them nicely, took pictures and went back. But after that others in the office took it up with the CRPF,” NDTV quoted a senior official from Gandhi’s office as saying.

The SPG was set up in 1985 and the Parliament passed the SPG Act in 1988 after the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. The act was amended after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in 1991, making the security detail available to all former prime ministers and their families for a period of 10 years. The rule was amended in 2002, making ministers like HD Deve Gowda lose their SPG cover.

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The Centre in August withdrew the SPG cover from former prime minister Manmohan Singh’s security team, and later replaced the same with Z-plus security for the Gandhi family including Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and her children Rahul and Priyanka.

Under Z-plus security, the Gandhis are being protected by CRPF commandos in close proximity besides guards at their homes and wherever they travel in the country.

(With inputs from agencies)