A day after Congress party alleged “security breaches” at the Delhi leg of Bharat Joda Yatra, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) denied the charges and accused Congress leader and former party president Rahul Gandhi of violating security guidelines during the yatra.
The Congress, on December 28, wrote to Home Minister Amit Shah alleging “security breaches” during Bharat Jodo Yatra in Delhi. The march, led by Rahul Gandhi, entered the national capital on December 24.
Congress general secretary KC Venugopal in a letter to Home Minister alleged that Delhi police failed in controlling the crowd during the march and also in maintaining a perimeter around Rahul Gandhi, who has been “assigned Z+ security”.
“The situation was so severe that the Congress workers and the Bharat Yatris walking along with Shri Rahul Gandhi had to form the perimeter. At the same time, the Delhi police remained as mute spectators,” the letter reads.
Congress writes to Union Home Minister Amit Shah and requests him "to take immediate steps to ensure the safety and security of Rahul Gandhi and of all the Bharat Yatris and leaders joining Bharat Jodo Yatra" pic.twitter.com/tCsbyh9D6J
— ANI (@ANI) December 28, 2022
Denying all the allegations, the CRPF has said that security arrangements made for the protectee (Rahul Gandhi) work fine when the protectee himself follows the guidelines. CRPF also asserted that all security guidelines were “strictly followed”.
“The security arrangements have been fully made for Rahul Gandhi as per the guidelines. It may be pointed out that during visits of the protectee the required security arrangements are made by the CRPF in coordination with State police and security agencies as per guidelines. Advisories based on threat assessment have been issued by the MHA to all stakeholders concerned including the State governments. Advance Security Liaison (ASL) is also undertaken for every visit,” the CRPF said.
The CRPF also pointed out that Rahul Gandhi has violated security guidelines 113 times since 2020, and the same has been communicated to him.
“Since 2020, there have been 113 violations observed and duly communicated. It may further be mentioned that during the Delhi leg of Bharat Jodo Yatra, the protectee has violated security guidelines and CRPF will be taking up this matter separately,” it said.
Security arrangements have been fully made for Rahul Gandhi. It may be pointed out that during visits of the protectee the required security arrangements are made by the CRPF in coordination with state police & security agencies: CRPF
— ANI (@ANI) December 29, 2022
These security related controversies vis-a-vis for Rahul Gandhi and his family members are not new. In November 2019, these issues had figured and were debated in public space.
A high-decibel controversy broke out on November 8, 2019 over the withdrawal of Special Protection Group (SPG) cover to members of the first family of the Congress party.
Even then official sources had stated that Rahul Gandhi, during his visit to Banaskantha in BJP-ruled Gujarat in 2017, violated security norms himself and that could have endangered his life. He travelled in a non-BR (bullet resistant) car ‘against the security advice of SPG’.
Of the total 156 foreign tours that Rahul Gandhi undertook since 1991, he did not take SPG officers on 143 tours. In most of these 143 foreign visits, the former Congress chief shared the travel itinerary at the eleventh hour preventing the SPG officers from accompanying him.
Since May 2014, Priyanka Gandhi has often levelled allegations that SPG officials were collecting her personal and confidential information and sharing it with unauthorised persons.
Although the Congress party has blamed the Delhi police and CRPF for a security breach, it has shown no interest in following Covid guidelines. Notably, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya urged the Congress leaders to follow Covid guidelines amid a surge in covid cases in several countries, including China.
Earlier, Mansukh Mandaviya, in his letter to the Congress party, has asked them to follow Covid protocols strictly.