NEW DELHI: Months after downgrading the security of the Gandhis, the Centre has now decided to completely remove NSG commandos from the duty of protecting VIPs, sources said.
The decision will mean that for the first time in two decades, the Black Cat commandos will be off VIP protection duties.
Raised in 1984, the National Security Guard provide the top Z+ category security to 13 high-risk VIPs.
Sources said that the Home Ministry feels that the NSG should concentrate on its original charter of handling counter-terrorism operations. “The NSG needs to go back to its original mandate of counter-terror and anti-hijack duties. That is the reason behind the latest move,” a senior official said.
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Officials said that the protection duties of NSG, which include ensuring security to Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath, will soon be transferred to paramilitary forces. The other NSG protectees include former CMs Mayawati, Mulayam Singh, Chandrababu Naidu, Parkash Singh Badal and Farooq Abdullah, Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal, and BJP patriarch L K Advani.
According to the plan being worked out, VIP security will be handed over to the paramilitary forces, such as the CRPF and CISF. This will free around 450 NSG commandos, who will be used to enhance the fighting components of the force.
The CRPF was recently handed over security of five ex-SPG protectees such as PM Manmohan Singh and his wife, Congress president Sonia Gandhi among others.
The plan to stop VIP security duty was on since 2012 after NSG 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 at the same time