There was no breach in Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s security during her recent trip to Lucknow, the CRPF said on Monday, blaming her for “violations” for riding pillion on a scooter. The force, which provides armed commandos under the ‘Z+’ category of VIP security cover to her, said the Congress leader undertook “unscheduled movement without intimation”. Therefore, an advanced security liaison (ASL) could not be conducted, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) said in a statement issued here under the name of its Inspector General (Intelligence and VIP security) P K Singh.
Priyanka Gandhi’s office had written to Singh’s office on December 28 with a complaint that a police circle officer (CO) in Lucknow had issued threats to her security personnel and warned of restricting her movements on the same day. The statement said “there was no breach in security by the official” who happens to be the CO of Hazartganj, Abhay Mishra. It said the “only programme” of Priyanka Gandhi indicated to the CRPF team for that day was about her visit to the local Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) office for attending a party foundation day event.
The CRPF said it had “conducted” an ASL for this event and had intimated it to state authorities. It alleged that the Congress leader’s “personal staff did not communicate” the detailed programme of the day to the Uttar Pradesh Police CO when he came calling at Priyanka Gandhi’s place of stay in Lucknow at about 8 am.
The force said while there was no breach in Priyanka Gnadhi’s security, at least three “security violations” took place when she chose to ride a two-wheeler while on her way to visit retired IPS officer S R Darapuri. “During travelling, the protectee used non-bullet resistant civil vehicle without a personal security officer.The protectee took a lift on scooty as a pillion rider,” it said, adding that as this movement was not planned, the CRPF team could not conduct an ASL which was a breach of security protocol mandated for Priyanka Gandhi. “Despite the security constraints, appropriate security cover was provided by the CRPF during the visit,” it said.
The force added that such security lapses are communicated to the protectee and “advised” for ensuring proper security arrangements. Priyanka Gandhi, also the Congress general secretary in-charge of UP (East), was in Lucknow on December 27 and December 28 as part of her first visit to the state capital after violent protests against the amended citizenship law and a proposed countrywide implementation of the National Register of Citizens.
Priyanka Gandhi, her brother Rahul Gandhi and mother and Congress president Sonia Gandhi were recently accorded the CRPF cover after the Modi government withdrew their SPG protection.
The Gandhi family, former prime minister Manmohan Singh and his wife, and Union Home Minister Amit Shah are the only people under its total 59 VIP protectees list who are accorded ASL which entails CRPF commandos sanitising the proposed route and venue that the dignitary will visit, in advance.
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Source: Financial Express