It provides proximate security to protection-seeker, including protection provided from close quarters, journey on foot, road, rail, aircraft, watercraft or any other means of transport, and includes places of functions, engagements, residence.
The protection-seeker has a has a security cover of highly trained and armed security personnel. But numbers of personnel and number of cars provided to a SPG protectee, is a classified information,
He travels in protected cars equipped with the best state-of-the-art technology . The cars are bulletproof and capable of withstanding high intensity blasts. The cars moves are monitored by SPG HQs in Delhi via GPS. Moreover, radar devices in the capital also provide continuous feed.
Apart from sophisticated small arms like Glock 17 Pistols, the guards are also equipped with the latest P-90 submachine gun and FN 2000 Tactical Assault Rifles. There are ring round teams, isolation cordons, the sterile zone, jammers, medical units and emergency helicopters are also a part the protection.
And it was estimated that several crores are spent in a year for an individual SPG protection. But Members of the SPG are barred by the SPG Act,1988, from contact with the media and nothing like expenditure on personal security will ever be revealed.
And all these expenses come from the public exchequer.
Most of the bungalows in Lutyen’s Delhi look similar – single-storied, white and cubic in shape, with green lawns rolling out on all sides.
The bungalows, it seems, having found a comfortable place in the midst of acres of green, are squatting comfortably and brooding forever.
The bungalows look unoccupied and lifeless from the road. You do not see anybody and any activity beyond the boundary walls, except a couple of armed men in khakis at the gate.
Reading the story in Hindustan Times, several questions came to my mind.
Rahul Gandhi as a Member of Parliament is entitled to an accommodation in Delhi. He has been allotted one – 12, Tughlaq Road – a bungalow in Lutyen’s Delhi. It also doubles up as his office.
Why does he need another bungalow and another office?
Who is the allottee of 15, Gurdwara Rakabgunj Road? Rahul or somebody else?
If the bungalow has been allotted to Rahul, then why and in what capacity?
Is it ethical if the bungalow has been allotted to somebody else and Rahul has set up his office in it? Has he usurped the bungalow?
Can Rahul have as many bungalows in Delhi as he likes?
Can Members of Parliament of other parties like L.K. Advani or Sharad Pawar or Mulayam Singh Yadav have more than one bungalow in Delhi?
Who is the owner of 15, Gurdwara Rakabgunj Road – the central government or the Delhi government? Or is it privately owned?
In any case, what’s the rent of the bungalow? Has the rent been subsidized or is it being charged at the market or commercial rate? Who is paying the rent?
The Hindustan Times story said that Rahul Gandhi was using 15, Gurdwara Rakabgunj Road as a war room – to make strategies for general elections in 2014 and also assembly elections to be held in many states in 2013 and 2014.
According to the story, only top leaders of the Congress Party like Sonia Gandhi, Ahmed Patel, Digvijaya Singh, Janardan Dwivedi, Oscar Fernandes, Motilal Vora and Jairam Ramesh have an access to the bungalow. Only matters related to the Congress Party are discussed at 15, Gurdwara Rakabgunj Road – issues related to governance are not taken up.
Reading the story, another question flashed in my mind – where does Priyanka Gandhi live in Delhi?
We all know that Sonia Gandhi lives in 10, Janpath and Rahul 12, Tughlaq Road.
Has Priyanka Gandhi also been provided a government bungalow? I was expecting the answer to be yes. The government can always cite security reasons for providing her a bungalow. I also thought that may be Priyanka Gandhi and Robert Vadra have been provided separate bungalows for security reasons.
I tried finding the answers in Google and Wikipedia. While trying the two sites, I realized that rasheedkidwai.com was better than the two websites in matters related to the Gandhi family and the Congress Party. There is no such site at present. I just made it.
Rasheed Kidwai is a senior journalist and can be considered an encyclopedia on the Congress Party and its leaders. He has written two books – biography of Sonia Gandhi and history of the Congress Party.
I was happy to see Mr. Kidwai ‘available’ on gmail chat.
I messaged him, ‘Where does Priyanka Gandhi live?’
Prompt came the reply, ‘34, Lodhi Road.’
He messaged me again after a few seconds, ‘Oops, sorry. It’s 35, Lodhi Road.’
‘Provided by government?’