Home minister Rajnath Singh’s security protocol has been upgraded to almost at par with the protection given to the President and Prime Minister, sources said on Friday.
The elite National Security Guard (NSG), which is responsible for Singh’s security along with other agencies, now follows a special protocol called advanced security liaison (ASL) before he embarks on a tour. The ASL is mandatory in the case of President Pranab Mukherjee, who is protected by Delhi Police, and Special Protection Group (SPG) protectees like the Prime Minister, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and her children Rahul and Priyanka.
“Before the home minister visits a place, an advanced security liaison is followed between police of the host state, local intelligence officials and NSG representatives,” a central security official said.
“Measures to keep him safe were discussed during the ASL and details are written down. After that, it is incumbent upon the host police to make all arrangements agreed and signed by those who participated in the ASL.”
Singh is the third special protectee, though he was getting Z Plus security even before he became home minister, the official said. Former deputy PM LK Advani and Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati are the other two in the special ASL category.
Sources said home ministers are accorded Z Plus protection that includes bulletproof vehicles, escort cars, uninterrupted movement and a security detail that can vary between 30 to 50 guards. But some former home ministers, such as P Chidambaram, refused to travel in bulletproof vehicles.