Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday said that a high-level probe has been initiated into the incident where a car drove straight on to the porch of Priyanka Gandhi’s residence without a security check while adding that three officers responsible for the breach have already been suspended.
“We did not want even a .001 per cent chance,” he added.
Shah, however, sought to play down the security breach incident as a “coincidence” stating in the Rajya Sabha that the car had come in at the same timing when Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi was expecting her brother Rahul Gandhi.
Elaborating on incident, Amit Shah said the security breach happened on November 25 when Priyanka Gandhi got information that Rahul Gandhi was coming to meet her in a black SUV. However, another black SUV came at the same time which had Meerut Congress leader Sharda Tyagi in it and was let in immediately without any security checks.
“The car and timing were the same, such was the coincidence. That’s why the car with Sharda Tyagi went in without any security check,” the Home Minister sought to clarify.
Reacting on the incident, Sharda Tyagi, who was in the vehicle which breached security at Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s residence in Delhi, told news agency ANI, “I was born in Congress and I am dedicated to the party. I was deeply anguished to find that security was left on home guards. I went there for the first time and saw this”.
She claimed that she didn’t know Priyanka Gandhi house number and had asked about it by calling at the Congress office. “When I went there, the security didn’t even care to see who was sitting in the car, the barricade was removed immediately and the gate was opened,” she said.
The Rajya Sabha on Tuesday passed the Special Protection Group (Amendment) Bill, 2019, a week after it was cleared by the Lok Sabha. The Congress party staged a walkout during voting on the Bill.
The amendments to the Act aims to provide SPG cover for only the prime minister and his “immediate family residing with him at his official residence”, as well as any former prime minister and members of his immediate family “residing with him at the residence allotted to him for a period of five years, from the date he ceases to hold the office of Prime Minister.”
Fending off allegations by the opposition after the security breach at Priyanka’s residence, Amit Shah said the SPG Amendment Act was not aimed at one family. He said security from the Gandhis was withdrawn after the threat assessment analysis even before bringing the bill.
“This is the 5th amendment in the SPG Act. This amendment is not brought in by keeping Gandhis in mind, but, one thing that I can say for sure is that the previous four amendments were done by keeping only one family in mind,” Shah said in the Parliament.
“Security cannot be made a status symbol. Why demand only SPG? SPG cover is meant for only the ‘head of the state’. We cannot be giving it to everyone. We don’t oppose one family, we are against dynasty politics,” he added.
In an unprecedented security breach, a car with five passengers, drove into the house of the Congress General Secretary in central Delhi’s Lodhi Estate last week.
The security breach comes weeks after the Special Protection Group (SPG) protection given to the Gandhi family, including Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi and her children Rahul and Priyanka was withdrawn by the Centre on November 8.
The Congress leaders are placed under ‘Z plus’ security provided by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).