In the run up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the Intelligence Bureau had issued several warnings regarding the security of Narendra Modi, who was then running for Prime Minister. All the reports had a clear indication that the threats were by external agencies, who were backing groups such as the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and the Students Islamic Movement of India.
During one election rally in Patna, Bihar, a series of explosions were reported just as Modi was set to address a rally. Investigations later showed that the blasts were the handiwork of the Students Islamic Movement of India, which is backed by the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and ISI.
Fast-forward four years later, the threat to the Prime Minister remains, but this time around it is internal. The threat is a specific one from the naxalites, who have been incurring losses since the security mechanism decided to up the ante against them.
Various Intelligence Bureau reports clearly indicate that the threat to the PM comes from those residing within India. It is not part of a global plot, but an internal one, officials with the Intelligence Bureau tell OneIndia.
The threat officials say is from the People's Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) which is a wing of the Communist Party of India (Maoist). The Pune police had recovered a letter that speaks about an assassination plan on Modi. It went on to say that the the plan was to undertake a Rajiv Gandhi like incident.
This group is capable of carrying out big attacks and incidents such as the one in Dantewada where 76 CRPF personnel were killed in 2010 is proof of the same. IB sources tell OneIndia that the composition of this group is restricted to the jungle areas and they battle security forces.
Now Threat To Modi is 'Make in India' product:
During the investigation conducted by the Pune police, it was revealed the naxalites had planned on targeting a road show of the PM. The police while arresting Rona Wilson, a sympathiser had found a letter, which describes the plot.
The letter talks about the requirement of Rs 8 crore to procure M-4 rifle and four lakh rounds, and also about "another Rajiv Gandhi incident. We are thinking along the lines of another Rajiv Gandhi incident. It sounds suicidal and there is a chance that we might fail but party must deliberate on our proposal, the letter also read.
"The higher Committee has appreciated the endearing efforts of all urban comrades for the specific tasks given to them... there is a lot of ground to be covered. Comrade Mangalu and Deepu have been coordinating the Koregaon programme (for) last two months with Comrade Sudhir. "They have been able to gather support from the larger sections of Dalits across the state," the letter further stated.
In the wake of the threat perception being very high, the Home Ministry had issued new security guidelines. The ministry said there has been an "all-time high" threat to the prime minister and he is the "most valuable target" in the run-up to the 2019 general elections, officials privy to the development said.
- No minister or official can come close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi unless cleared by the Special Protection Group.
- The SPG is believed to have advised Modi, who is the main campaigner for the ruling BJP, to cut down on road shows, which invite a bigger threat, in the run up to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, and instead address public rallies, which are easier to manage, an official said.
- The close protection team (CPT) of the prime minister's security has been briefed about the new set of rules and the threat assessment and instructed them to frisk even a minister or an officer, if necessary.
- Maoist-hit states like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal were termed as sensitive by the home ministry and the police chiefs of these states were told to be extra careful when the prime minister visits their states, the official said.
- Security agencies are believed to be specially monitoring the Kerala-based Popular Front of India (PFI), an outfit that the government believes is a front for radical groups.