NSG to secure its high-risk VVIPs on SPG pattern

New Delhi: The National Security Guard, which guards some of the most high-risk VVIPs in the country, will enhance the security of its protectees akin to the level rendered by the Special Protection Group (SPG) which secures the Prime Minister.

 NSG to secure its high-risk VVIPs on SPG pattern

NSG commandos protecting BSP Chief Mayawati.

NSG chief Jayanto N Choudhury said the elite commando force has recently written to the Ministry of Home Affairs with an intention that the counter-terror force should undergo an "audit" of its functioning alongwith VVIP security tasks as done annually in the case of the SPG.

The 'black cats' of the force, at present, guard 17 'Z+' category VVIPs which includes BJP patriarch LK Advani, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, his Tamil Nadu counterpart J Jayalalithaa, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi, BSP chief Mayawati, central Minister Farooq Abdullah, BJP President Rajnath Singh and DMK chief K Karunanidhi.

"My mandate is to give the best security to the 17 protectees that we have. We are making efforts that they can have that security close to what the SPG coverage is," Choudhury told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in New Delhi.

He said as the SPG functions under an Act, it has better resources and manpower to render its duty.

The move to enhance the security of NSG protectees assumes significance as the coming general elections will see a lot of movement by these personalities, majority of whom are political and government figures.

The NSG Director General said he has also written to the Home Secretary seeking an audit in the entire functioning of the force and not only VIP security duties undertaken by it.

The yearly audit would cover, the DG said, "how we are doing today? What does the government expect from us? and what do we need to do further to strengthen."

The DG, a 1978-batch IPS officer of Assam-Meghalaya cadre, who recently took over the top charge of the commando force said they were undertaking a complete "review" of the security of VVIPs under their command.

He said the NSG is now stressing that laid down standard operating procedures should be diligently followed by state police units and other agencies involved during the movement of their high-risk personalities.

The DG said the NSG has also written to the state governments for making their bomb disposal teams effective with a view to sanitise the "public congregation" venues where its protectees move.

The NSG is ready to train state police personnel in bomb detection and crippling skills, a senior official said.

A set of new operating procedures have been brought in by the federal contingency force in the aftermath of a political rally of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi which was rocked by multiple low-intensity blasts.

PTI

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Updated Date: Feb 19, 2014 15:53:33 IST