Official’s enthusiasm over being part of Modi event triggers security advisory
The official, who was part of PM Narendra Modi’s security detail in Himachal Pradesh, had posted his duty pass on social media before the event, raising an alarm within the home ministry.india Updated: Feb 21, 2018 22:48 IST
A government official’s enthusiasm at being part of the security detail at an event featuring Prime Minister Narendra Modi has prompted the Union ministry of home affairs (MHA) to once again remind state governments to maintain the secrecy of classified documents and VVIP programmes.
In an advisory to the governments of states and union territories, the MHA says “several instances... of sensitive... documents of classified category circulating on social media have come to notice”. It added that “such leakage” could have “serious security implications”.
The official in question whose behaviour triggered the advisory (he is mentioned in it, though not by name), was tasked with performing security duty during the Prime Minister’s speech at the Indian Institute of Management in Sirmaur, Himachal Pradesh on November 2, 2017. Much before the speech, the official had posted his duty pass on social media raising an alarm within the home ministry.
According to documents seen by Hindustan Times, this was the third such incident reported in 13 months.
The MHA has been red-flagging the fact that the PM’s tour details are being leaked on social media prior to his visits, posing a major security threat. The details of PM’s visit are issued by the Special Protection Group. .
In October, Hindustan Times reported an incident dating back to 2016 where minute-to-minute details of a visit made by Modi to Madhya Pradesh’s Alirajpur district were found circulating on WhatsApp.
Last September, the MHA issued a similar advisory, believed to be the second such notice at the time.
A senior home ministry official clarified that all necessary precautions that need to be taken to plug such gaps have been taken.
“The security establishment takes all precautions both before and after official visits or in this case public address. Discrepancies such as these are taken noted, examined and appropriate action is taken wherever and whenever it is necessary,” this person added on condition of anonymity.
First Published: Feb 21, 2018 22:48 IST