A day after the BJP announced that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was its prime ministerial candidate in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the National Security Guard — the force responsible for his protection — was back to the drawing board, making new plans to step up security for its “most protected” VIP.
The measures will improve on what the NSG did after Modi was named the BJP’s poll campaign panel chief in June. The NSG, with the home ministry’s approval, had doubled the number of personnel in Modi’s inner security cordon to 36 from 18. The Gujarat Police is responsible for his outer cordon.
The move meant a total of 108 NSG personnel are dedicated to Modi’s close range security at present, including those who sanitize vehicles used by Modi to travel outside Gujarat.
This number, which takes into account personnel deployed in shifts, may further increase under the fresh proposal following Friday’s announcement, sources said.
Modi has been on the hit list of all major Islamist terror groups active in India and his rising profile has been a cause of concern to security agencies, especially since his travels outside Gujarat have increased. They are particularly worried about the fallout in case his security is compromised and this, sources said, has been discussed at the highest levels of government.
In fact, this concern has been there since Modi took over as head of the BJP’s campaign committee and the NSG recently wrote to the home ministry, citing four violations by their valued protectee during his trips to Delhi, Himachal Pradesh and Karnataka.
“We report each and every violation to the Home Ministry. There have been four specific violations in the past three months when he did not inform us in advance about his travel and went ahead without the adequate number of security personnel. We just cannot take any risk as he is also the most threatened person,” said an officer.
The security upgrade in June took Modi to the top of the NSG’s list of protectees, sources said. None of the 16 Z-plus protectees, including BJP veteran L K Advani, BSP’s Mayawati, Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa, Chhattisgarh