VIP security up for major change in Modi 3.0; NSG, ITBP to be withdrawn

07:04 PM Jun 11, 2024 | PTI |

New Delhi: The VIP security setup of the Union government is expected to witness a major “shift and overhaul” with the new ministers taking charge and the task of guarding over a dozen high-risk persons by the NSG and the ITBP being transferred to other paramilitary forces, official sources said Tuesday.


The sources told PTI that a review of this important wing under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is expected to be undertaken soon and the covers extended to various political figures and candidates, ex-ministers, retired bureaucrats and some others will be either withdrawn, scaled down or upgraded.

It has also been decided that the long-awaited proposal of completely withdrawing ‘black cat’ commandos of the NSG from VIP security duties will be implemented now and all its nine Z-plus category protectees will be handed over to the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) VIP security unit, the sources said.

Similarly, some of the VIPs secured by the personnel of the border guarding force Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) may be transferred to the CRPF or the VIP security wing of the CISF called the special security group (SSG), they said.

Those protected by the close protection force of the National Security Guard (NSG) commandos include Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, his predecessor and BSP supremo Mayawati, Union defence minister Rajnath Singh, veteran BJP leader and former deputy prime minister L K Advani, Union shipping minister Sarbananda Sonowal, BJP leader and ex Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh.


Former Jammu and Kashmir CM and Democratic Progressive Azad Party (DPAP) president Ghulam Nabi Azad, National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah and TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu are also protected by NSG commandos.

The ITBP protects veteran BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi, NC leader Omar Abdullah and PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti and some others.

The plan to relieve NSG from VIP security tasks has been in the making since 2012 when NSG commanders foresaw an event where simultaneous terror attacks could be witnessed at one time on multiple centres in the country and the commandos will have to be rushed in different directions.

PTI had reported in January, 2020 that after the removal of the SPG from the Gandhi family — Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra — a committee of the MHA had decided to withdraw NSG from VIP security tasks.

The Union government has decided to “restructure” the NSG and use its manpower to raise and station ‘strike teams’ of commandos in some high-risk areas like near the Ram temple in Ayodhya and around some critical assets located in the southern part of the country.

Withdrawal of the NSG from VIP security, once done, will happen after over two decades that the ‘black cat’ commandos were drafted in this duty, a task not originally charted for it when the force was conceptualised and raised in 1984.

The Union government “is of the view” that the NSG should concentrate on its original charter of handling specific tasks of counter-terrorist and counter-hijack operations and that the task of securing high-risk VIPs was proving to be a “burden” on its limited and specialist capabilities.

Around 450 ‘black cat’ commandos are expected to be freed once NSG is withdrawn from VIP security duties, the sources said.

The CRPF and the CISF VIP security wings secure more than 200 persons at present. While the former paramilitary force is tasked to protect Union home minister Amit Shah and the Gandhi family apart from others, the latter has NSA Ajit Doval, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and others as its protectees.


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