Security measures for India's prominent leaders have been enhanced following a threat perception, the home ministry said on Friday.
The ministry has issued an advisory to strengthen the security of several VIPs. It, however, refused to specify if Congress President Sonia Gandhi, also the chairperson of the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA), faced a terror threat.
Reacting to media reports indicating enhanced terror threat assessment for Gandhi, the ministry said in a statement: "On the basis of the threat assessment received (from intelligence agencies), an advisory was issued to all concerned to be vigilant and strengthen security arrangements for protectees in order to avoid any untoward incident."
The ministry's official spokesperson OP Kedia said: "We can neither deny nor confirm reports of threat to specific persons."
Maintaining that it "carries out periodic threat assessment for all its protectees," the ministry said: "a similar exercise was undertaken in view of the forthcoming festivals, Republic Day functions and assembly elections in four major states."
It convened a meeting of the chiefs of various security agencies to review the security arrangements for top leaders. The meeting was chaired by Home Secretary VK Duggal.
Gandhi, one of the leaders given highest security, is guarded by the Special Protection Group (SPG), the country's elite security agency responsible for proximate security of the current as well as former prime ministers and their family members.
Gandhi, widow of late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, is entitled to SPG's security shield.