If Robert not exempted at airports, I'm also out: Priyanka Gandhi to SPG chief

Written by Express news service | New Delhi | Updated: May 31 2014, 17:48pm hrs
IN the event her husbands name is struck off the list of VIPs exempted from pre-embarkation security checks at airport, Priyanka Vadra has written to Special Protection Group (SPG) chief that it would not be correct for her and their children to avail the facility and even they would like to go through the normal security channel when the entire family was travelling together.

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 traveling 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. I would appreciate if you could put this into practice as soon as the government order canceling my husbands exemption comes into force, Priyanka said in her letter to SPG chief K Durga Prasad.

While Priyanka is an SPG protectee, her husband Robert Vadra is entitled to SPG protection whenever he is travelling with her. A Delhi Police team gives him round the clock security.

SPG chief Prasad told The Indian Express he had not seen the letter but they will seek a consolidated report from other security agencies on it. Senior officials said more than a security issue the exemption from frisking was borne out of protocol. Barring the Gandhi family, the other people on the exempted list are all by designations like former PMs, Presidents, serving chief justices of high courts and others. There are 30 categories of VIPs in this list.

In her letter, Priyanka wr-ote, In the light of the recent media reports with reference to the removal of my husbands name from the list of security protectees exempt from security checks at the airport, I would like to bring to your notice that his inclusion on that list came about at the instance of your predecessors in the SPG/Delhi Police and not up-on any request by either of us who were informed after the fact.

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, she wrote. 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.

The Civil Aviation Ministry will be the final authority to decide whether the name of the family should be struck off the list.