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Priyanka Gandhi seeks withdrawal of special security for family at airports

Friday, 30 May 2014 - 10:19pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI
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Priyanka Gandhi on Friday asked the SPG to withdraw the exemption given to her and her family from normal security checks in the airports, a plea that comes in the wake of reports that government is considering cancellation of such a facility to her husband Robert Vadra.

In a letter to the SPG chief Durga Prasad, she referred to media reports of possible removal of her husband Robert Vadra's name from the list of security protectees exempt from security checks at the airport and said she would appreciate if it is done at the earliest.

Priyanka said Vadra's inclusion on that list came about at the instance of previous SPG chiefs and Delhi Police and not upon any request by "either of us who were informed after the fact".

Vadra was under repeated attack from Narendra Modi and other BJP leaders during the recent election campaign besides the barbs targeting Priyanka besides Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.

"Since the government is now reportedly considering the removal of his name, I would like to inform you that I do not feel it will be correct for my children and me to avail of the facility of exemption of these checks while entering or exiting the airport when we are all travelling together.

"It is only right for us to go through the normal channel at the airport and be frisked etc. as per normal procedure at such times as you will appreciate that it makes no sense for a family travelling together to fall under different categories of exemption," Priyanka said.

She recalled that the facility for Vadra was done ostensibly to facilitate the coordination of the two separate security agencies at the airport when they travelled together.

"Ever since then, it has been a source of constant embarrassment for my husband who has asked me on numerous occasions to have it removed as, in any case, he goes through the full security check and procedure from the normal channel every time he is traveling on his own.

"I had verbally conveyed this to the previous Director and the AIG, SPG, in charge of my security detail on a number of occasions but no action was ever taken on it," Gandhi said.

She said since the government is now reportedly considering the removal of his (Vadra's) name, "I would like to inform you that I do not feel it will be correct for my children and me to avail of the facility of exemption of these checks while entering or exiting the airport when we are all travelling together.

"It is only right for us to go through the normal channel at the airport and be frisked etc as per normal procedure at such times as you will appreciate that it makes no sense for a family traveling together to fall under different categories of exemption."

Gandhi said she would appreciate if the SPG could put this into practice as soon as the government order canceling her husband's exemption comes into force.

"I would also request you to ensure that when we are entering or exiting the boarding gates there is no disturbance to other passengers and that my security detail behaves in a manner that is discreet and strictly unobtrusive," she said adding "Thank you for your co-operation and understanding."




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