The green light pointed at Congress president Rahul Gandhi in Amethi came from a mobile phone, not a sniper’s rifle, the Home Ministry said on Thursday after the Congress complained of a possible breach in its party president’s security during his Amethi visit.
In a letter to home minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday, senior leaders Ahmed Patel, Jairam Ramesh and Randeep Singh Surjewala had expressed concern over the “grave and unacceptable” to Rahul Gandhi’s life.
The Congress had also sent a copy of Rahul Gandhi’s media interaction, which it said, showed “a laser (green) was pointed at his head, intermittently on at least 7 separate occasions in a short period”.
The Home Ministry said it hadn’t received a copy of the letter sent by the Congress leaders but had asked the Special Protection Group – the elite team of commandos mandated to guard Prime Minister, ex-PMs and their immediate family – to “verify the factual position”.
“The ‘green light’ shown in the clipping was found to be that of a mobile phone used by the AICC photographer, who was videographing the impromptu press interaction of Shri Rahul Gandhi near the collectorate at Amethi,” the Home Ministry spokesperson said, citing a report received from the SPG chief.
“The SPG director has confirmed that there was no security implication whatsoever,” the spokesperson said. The SPG has also conveyed these facts to the Rahul Gandhi’s office, the home ministry said.
In its communication to the centre, the Congress had demanded an immediate action to “investigate and neutralise the threat, if any” to Rahul Gandhi.
“We also call upon you to ensure that full security protocol – including appropriate sanitisation of the area – is undertaken by the SPG as also the local administration, who are obligated to do so,” the Congress’s letter said, stressing that Rahul Gandhi’s security is the home ministry’s “first responsibility”.
The Congress concern is also reported to have stemmed from Rahul Gandhi’s tight election campaign schedule over the next few weeks. “Your office would be aware that the Congress president being a high risk target is especially vulnerable during the extensive electioneering in the ongoing 2019 elections,” the Congress told the government earlier in the day.