The Special Protection Group (SPG), the force that handles the security of the Prime Minister, will now be handled by an officer not less than the rank of an Additional Director-General belonging to the Indian Police Service, while junior officers will be appointed on deputation for an initial period of six years. These parameters were fixed through a new set of rules issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on Thursday under the Special Protection Group Act, 1988 (34 of 1988).
The SPG is an elite force, specifically raised for the protection of the country’s Prime Minister, former PMs and their immediate family. The force is currently 3,000 strong and it was started in 1985 in the wake of the killing of PM Indira Gandhi in 1984.
According to the notification, the officers of All India Services will be appointed to the SPG on deputation by the central government on the same terms and conditions as applicable to the officers of the corresponding ranks in the central government. “The SPG, will have its headquarters in New Delhi and the director shall be appointed by the central government at a level of not less than the ADG of police from the IPS,” the notification said.
“Other members of the SPG, except the All India services officers, shall be appointed on deputation for an initial period of six years. The appointment for the second tenure may be done with the prior approval of the central government for reasons to be recorded,” the notification said.
“The general superintendence, direction, command and control, supervision, training, discipline, and administration of the SPG will be vested in the director. The director of the SPG shall be the functional head and responsible for the implementation of the duties assigned in the Act besides any other duties, orders, and instructions assigned on this behalf by the central government,” the notification said.
“The manner of providing assistance to the director or member of SPG in terms of provisions contained in the Act shall be specified by the central government through standard operating procedures,” it stated.
The SPG is highly trained in physical efficiency, marksmanship, combat and proximate protection tactics and is assisted by all central and state agencies to ensure fool proof security. SPG Special Agents assigned to the PM security detail wear black, Western-style formal business suits, with sunglasses, and carry a two-way encrypted communication earpiece, and concealed handguns. They wear safari suits on occasions. The SPG also has special operations commandos who carry ultra-modern assault rifles and wear dark-visor sunglasses with inbuilt communication earpieces, bulletproof vests, gloves and elbow/knee pads.