4 Jun 2010

FDC from India: Special Protection Group

The Special Protection Group (SPG) is the executive protection agency of the Government of India. It is responsible for the protection of the Prime Minister of India, other top officials, and their immediate families. The force was established in 1985 after the assassination of Indira Gandhi. It is one of many Indian law enforcement agencies.

The work of the Special Protection Group was more organised after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi on May 21, 1991, (who was, at that time, not under SPG cover since his term as Prime Minister had ended). After the Rajiv Gandhi assassination, there have been no successful attempts to attack the Prime Minister or the Prime Minister's family members. The Special Protection Group has about 3,000 personnel. Recruits are drawn from police forces as well as National Security Guards commandos, who undergo training similar to that conducted by the United States Secret Service. The officer cadre is mainly Indian Police Service (IPS) officers from various state/central cadres.

The Special Protection Group provides proximate security to protectees, including protection provided from close quarters, journey on foot, road, rail, aircraft, watercraft or any other means of transport, and includes places of functions, engagements, residence, etc. They comprise ring round teams, isolation cordons, the sterile zone, and the rostrum and access control to the person or members of his immediate family. The Special Protection Group, over a period of time, grew both in size as well as in specialisation.

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