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Saturday, 16 November 2019 5.38 AM IST

Manmohan Singh's SPG cover withdrawn, CRPF to provide Z+ security

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NEW DELHI: The Special Protection Group (SPG) protection given to former prime minister Manmohan Singh has been withdrawn following a review by multiple security agencies but he will continue to get Z plus security, officials said on Monday. The former prime minister's Z plus security cover, one of the highest, will be given by one of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs), preferably the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), they said.

The government's decision had been conveyed to Singh, who was India's prime minister from 2004 and 2014, and the SPG contingent will be withdrawn from his New Delhi residence after one of the CAPFs takes over the responsibility, a home ministry official said. "The current security cover review is a periodical and professional exercise based on threat perception that is purely based on professional assessment by security agencies. Dr. Manmohan Singh continues to have Z+ security cover," a home ministry spokesperson said.

The decision to withdraw the SPG security, the country's highest grade of protection, was taken after a three-month review involving the Cabinet Secretariat and the Ministry of Home Affairs with inputs from various intelligence agencies, officials said. With the removal of Singh's SPG cover, the top-notch security cover will now be given only to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Gandhi family -- Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her children, Rahul and Priyanka. According to procedures laid down by the SPG Act, 1988, Singh was entitled to SPG cover for one year after he demitted office in 2014. His SPG security cover was renewed annually after a review of the threats faced by him and his wife Gursharan Kaur.

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TAGS: MANMOHAN SINGH, SPG SECURITY, SECURITY, NARENDRA MODI, SONIA GANDHI, CONGRESS
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