In a letter to Ministry of Home Affairs, the Congress party reported a serious breach in the security of its president Rahul Gandhi during his visit to Amethi. The letter by senior Congress leaders claimed that a laser, possibly from a sniper gun, was pointed at Gandhi several times during his media interaction after he filed his nomination for the Amethi Lok Sabha seat.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has dismissed any breach in Rahul Gandhi's security. The ministry reportedly said that the green laser beam focussed at the Congress president was from a cameraman's mobile phone. Rahul Gandhi is a SPG protectee.
In the letter to MHA , Congress leaders Ahmed Patel, Jairam Ramesh and Randeep Singh Surjewala said that a laser was pointed at the Rahul Gandhi's head on at least seven different occasions in a short period. A video clipping of Gandhi's media interaction was also provided to the MHA with the letter.
"A perusal of the video by various persons including former security personnel leads to a prima facie conclusion that this laser could emanate from a potential weapon such as a sniper gun," the letter read.
The Congress leaders referred to the assassinations of Rahul Gandhi's grandmother Indira Gandhi and father Rajiv Gandhi, former prime ministers of India, calling a possible breach in the security of its party president a cause of grave and pressing concern.
"We urge you to immediately take note of this grave and unacceptable security threat as also the security lapse in the security of the Congress president, Rahul Gandhi. This is also an alarming lapse on part of the UP administration which is responsible for the peripheral security of Rahul Gandhi," the letter said.
The Congress called for immediate action in the matter to investigate and neutralise threats to its chief, if any. "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," the Congress leaders said in the letter.
During the Karnataka state Assembly elections last year in April, the helicopter carrying Rahul Gandhi lost altitude steeply along with violent shuddering, before landing at the Hubli airport. The Congress had alleged intentional tampering with the aircraft and demanded a probe into the matter. A DGCA report found pilots of the helicopter responsible for the incident.