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After laser light pointed at Rahul Gandhi in Amethi, Congress writes to Home Minister

On the road: Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on a roadshow in Amethi on Wednesday.

On the road: Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on a roadshow in Amethi on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: Rajeev Bhatt

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“…A (green) laser was pointed at his head, intermittently on at least seven separate occasions in a short period; including twice at his temple on the right side of the head”

The Congress on Thursday wrote to Home Minister Rajnath Singh about a possible breach in Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s security in Uttar Pradesh when he visited Amethi to file his nomination on Wednesday.

In their letter to Mr. Singh, senior leaders Ahmed Patel, Jairam Ramesh and Randeep Surjewala have asked the Centre to “probe and neutralise the threat, if any”.

They have pointed out a green laser was pointing at Mr. Gandhi, at least, seven times when he was speaking to the media after filing his nominations.

But a spokesperson of the Ministry of Home Affairs ruled out any security threat and claimed that the laser light from the mobile  of a photographer deployed by Mr Gandhi's team. 

“…A (green) laser was pointed at his head, intermittently on at least seven separate occasions in a short period; including twice at his temple on the right side of the head.”

The party also sent a video clip of his media interaction to Mr. Singh along with the joint 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 said.

“All of us are deeply shocked and distressed at the possibility of the Congress president being targetted by a potential assassin.”

The letter also reminded the assassination of former Prime Ministers Rajiv Gandhi and Indira Gandhi.

“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... This is also an alarming lapse on part of the UP administration which is responsible for the peripheral security,” the letter read.

A spokesperson for the MHA said they had not yet received the letter but had the video examined by the SPG. They claimed that “the Director of the SPG has confirmed that there was no security implication whatsoever”.

"The green light shown in the clipping was found to be that of a mobile phone used by the AICC photographer, who was videographing the impromptu press interaction of Shri Rahul Gandhi near the collectorate at Amethi. Director (SPG) has also informed MHA that this position was conveyed to the personal staff of Shri Rahul Gandhi," said the spokesperson.

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The article has been updated to add the statement from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

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Printable version | Dec 11, 2019 8:39:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/after-laser-light-pointed-at-rahul-gandhi-in-amethi-congress-writes-to-home-minister/article26804607.ece

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