A “letter”, purportedly carrying signatures of senior Congress leaders and addressed to Home Minister Rajnath Singh, regarding a “serious breach” in Rahul Gandhi’s security went viral Thursday but the grand old party washed its hands-off the letter later in the day. The Home Ministry also said it has not received any letter from the Congress party.
But sources in the Congress said the party did raise with the SPG that a green laser light was pointed at his head, at least seven times, while he was interacting with the media in Amethi Wednesday after filing his nomination papers. SPG, raised in 1985, is the elite security force which provide proximate security cover to the Prime Minister, former Prime Ministers and their immediate family members.
“Security of Rahul Gandhi is the responsibility of the SPG as also the Home Ministry. During elections, as the national president of the Congress, there needs to be more sensitivity and vigilance vis a vis his security. However, we have not written any letter to the Home Ministry,” Congress communication department head Randeep Surjewala told The Indian Express.
Congress wrote to Home Minister over breach in security of its president Rahul Gandhi y’day; says Gandhi was addressing media after filing nomination from Amethi, “a persual of his interaction will reflect that a laser was pointed at his head, on at least 7 separate occasions” pic.twitter.com/f3Jmnjhzs5
— ANI (@ANI) April 11, 2019
The letter, which was doing the rounds on social media, had the signatures of Surjewala, Ahmed Patel and Jairam Ramesh. Asked whether the letter was “fake”, Surjewala said, “All I can tell you is that we have not written any letter to the Home Ministry.”
A Home Ministry spokesperson said as soon as the ministry’s attention was drawn to reports about the incident, the Director (Special Protection Group) was asked to verify the factual position. Sources said SPG director Arun Kumar Sinha has informed the Home Ministry that there is no security threat to the Congress president.
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“Director (SPG) has informed MHA that they have gone through the video clipping of the incident very closely. The ‘green light’ shown in the clipping was found to be that of a mobile phone used by the AICC photographer, who was videographing the impromptu press interaction of Rahul Gandhi near the collectorate at Amethi.
“Director (SPG) has also informed MHA that this position was conveyed to the personal staff of Rahul Gandhi. Director (SPG) has confirmed that there was no security implication whatsoever,” the spokesperson said. The Home Ministry spokesperson added that the “MHA has not received any letter from the Congress party”.