HYDERABAD/NEW DELHI: In a major security breach that sent alarm bells ringing in the Prime Minister's Office and the Special Protection Group (SPG), a local TV channel beamed live images of the dinner hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for Ivanka Trump at the Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad -- an event barred for the media -- after obtaining live feed from the police control room in the Hyderabad Police Commissioner's office.
The live transmission of the mega event was stopped only after SPG director A K Sinha called up Telangana director-general of police M Mahendar Reddy and expressed serious displeasure over the matter. It is reliably learnt that even P K Misra, additional principal secretary to the Prime Minister, took
strong objection to the airing of live visuals of the event.
Top sources disclosed to Express that the Hyderabad police had installed several cameras for internal and external surveillance of Falaknuma palace – just one of the many tight security measures taken for the gala dinner.
The cameras were linked to a control room in the office of the Hyderabad police Commissioner which received live feeds of the security situation in and around the venue. Sources said that minutes before the dinner commenced, a local TV channel managed to get inside the control room with its equipment,
took the live feeds from the control room and began live telecasting them.
Minutes into the live telecast, the matter reached the SPG director who quicly picked up the phone to P K Misra in the PMO. The SPG director then called up the Telangana DGP and requested him to stop the
live telecast immediately.
''This was not only a major security breach, but also a breach of privacy and protocol and can have serious
implications for the security of the VVIPs,'' sources said.
When contacted, the in-charge Hyderabad police commissioner V V Srinivasa Rao confirmed to Express that there was a live transmission of the event by a local channel for sometime. He was however unaware
that it was from the control room that the channel accessed the live feed. ''I will have this enquired,'' he said. He confirmed that the SPG has taken strong objection to the live transmission. ''Even I was present at the event and when I was told about the transmission, I immediately directed our control room to see to it that the transmission is stopped. But I am unaware that the channel got live feeds from the control room itself.''
The senior IPS officer further said that there were many people at the dinner who were taking live pictures and videos of the dinner.
Sources said it is likely that the Centre may seek an explanation from the Telangana government about the
security breach. An enquiry is likely to be ordered.