Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Friday said threat to Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi was “permanent” and that the Centre had taken all precautions for his security. Mr. Shinde’s assertion follows Mr. Gandhi’s statement that he could also become victim of terrorism like his grandmother Indira Gandhi and father Rajiv Gandhi.

“Threat to Rahul Gandhi is permanent; that is why we have taken all precautions and deployed SPG,” Mr. Shinde told journalists here. Mr. Gandhi had been provided with highest ‘Z-plus’ security cover, which was given to most-protected VVIPs that included Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

A typical ‘Z-plus’ security cover included 36 personnel, including commandos of the Special Protection Group.

Significantly, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Thursday the government would take all precautions to ensure the safety of Mr. Gandhi. “As regards threat to the life of Mr. Gandhi, the government will take all possible precautions that this threat does not materialise,” he said.

Mr. Shinde, however, refused to comment on Mr. Gandhi’s controversial remarks at a rally in Madhya Pradesh where he said intelligence inputs suggested that Pakistani agencies had established contact with a group of 10-15 Muslim youths who lost their kin in the Muzaffarnagar riots. “I do not want to comment on the issue,” Mr. Shinde said.

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