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Call-code breach puts VIPs at risk

The casual approach of security personnel responsible for the security of VVIPs like the Prime Minister and the President has sent alarm bells ringing in the government.

Published: 25th November 2017 11:53 PM  |   Last Updated: 26th November 2017 08:31 AM   |  A+A-

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NEW DELHI: The casual approach of security personnel responsible for the security of VVIPs like the Prime Minister and the President has sent alarm bells ringing in the government.

In their radio communication with other agencies during the movement of VVIPs, the security personnel on duty, instead of using call signs and codes, are giving out critical details like the protectees’ names and the places they are visiting.

The slip-up has caused worries as it could expose the VVIPs to grave risks. These communication codes are sensitive information and are changed every month to eliminate the possibility of misuse.
The disclosure of details about VVIP movements, though inadvertent, underlines a casual approach on the part of security personnel, which has irked the Ministry of Defence (MoD). It has now pressed the panic button.

The Central Monitoring Organisation under MoD, which monitors the use of radio spectrum by all agencies such as the defence establishment, police, AIR, railways etc., has informed the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) of “regular” breach of communication protocol by the security personnel. The MHA has, in turn, raised the issue with all the forces concerned.

In a letter sent to all forces, director of the VIP Security Unit under the MHA said, “The CMO has reported regular breach of standard security protocols pertaining to radio communication by state police personnel during visits/movements of the VVIPs ... The standard communication protocols envisage use of call sign/codes...

“However, it has been noticed that a casual approach is being adopted... exposure of critical information... to inimical elements has the potential of being misused and can have serious implication.”  

The letter was reportedly sent before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election campaign in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat.

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