Following a home ministry directive, the Delhi police has told its protectees, numbering almost 250, to inform it before leaving for foreign travels in order to facilitate better coordination with foreign agencies.
The last home ministry directive in this regard was on May 13, before the NDA government assumed power and it was sent to all state police forces.
“The Union home ministry twice wrote to all state directors general of police and Delhi police commissioner — first in August last year and again in May 13 this year — to inform all protectees that they should inform the protecting agencies at least three weeks before embarking on a foreign tour. The protectees were also asked to give details of place of their stay, and the duration of their visit so that they can be provided better security there in coordination with foreign agencies. In case of the Special Proection Group (SPG) protectees, their respective private assistants were asked inform them of the requirement,” said a home ministry official requesting anonymity.
The protectees were also asked to inform of their date of departure and arrival. Forces have also been instructed to get details on the nature of the visit as well as to verify if the protectee has to attend a public meeting.
In a follow up action, the Delhi police have asked its around 250 to 300 protectees to provide the information well in advance. Those who got the letter include Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra and former PM Manmohan Singh’s immediate family among others as they are protected by the Delhi police.
According to home ministry officials, the first order in this regard was sent last year after the conviction of three Sikh extremists in the United Kingdom for carrying out an attack on Lt Gen (retd) Kuldip Singh Brar on September 30, 2012.
General Brar had led ‘Operation Blue Star’ in 1984 to flush out pro-Khalistani militants from the Golden Temple in Amritsar.