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Jain Commission Interim Report

Threats to Rajiv Gandhi and his Security
Chapter II

Sections 32 to 34

32. Testimony of Sh. G.S. Bajpai, Secretary (Security) | 33. Period of Sh. Chandra Shekhar as P.M. | 34. Findings and conclusions on Security arrangements for Rajiv Gandhi

Testimony of Shri G.S. Bajpayee, Secretary (Security)

43.6 Shri V.P. Singh examined quite a good number of bureaucrats in his evidence namely Shri S.K. Mishra, Shri R. Vasudevan, Shri V.G. Vaidya, Shri K.N. Thakur, Shri K.R. Venugopal, Shri Naresh Chandra, Shri V.C. Pande, Shri B.G. Deshmukh were examined as witnesses by Shri B.L. Wadera, a party before the Commission. some how, no one examined Shri Gauri Shankar Bajpai who was Secretary (Security) w.e.f. 1.1.1990 TO 31st May, 1990. His testimony was considered by the Commission very material and that really turned out to be material as was the feeling of the Commission.

He has deposed that whenever the question of Rajiv Gandhi's security was raised by anybody in the Cabinet or PMO, the view generally was that S.P.G. was meant only for the Prime Minister and some other alternative security arrangements are to be made for Shri Rajiv Gandhi. Amendment of S.P.G. was not expressed by anyone. Whenever the subject was raised with Shri V.P. Singh regarding Rajiv's security, he expressed that adequate security for Shri Rajiv Gandhi should be provided. His view was for any alternative security arrangement to be made for Rajivji.

He deposed that the had not seen I.B. Threat Assessment Report or reports received from I.B. field units. In the security meeting on 4.1.1990, verbal threat assessments were given by I.B. representatives apart from what is contained in his Memo Ex. 269A, which is not the fresh threat assessment report. In all subsequent notes of the Office of Secretary (Security) or of the P.M.O. or even I.B. reports, Ex. 268 dated 3.1.1990, nowhere it is recorded that threat has diminished. RAW report recorded that threats continue to be still very high.

He said that the observation in para 3 of Ex. 268 'the present attitude of these groups is not known' is inconsistent with the report of SIB, Madras dated 12.12.1989. Ex. 246 dated 4.1.1990 rather refers to two I.B. reports of threats in Parliament House and that Rajiv Gandhi continued to face serious threats and threats to his security was still very high.

He has further deposed that if all inputs received by I.B. were placed before and if the alternative security scheme was also placed before him, he would have applied his mind independently and formed his own opinion and could have made some contribution. the Government could create any other force if it so desired. He was shown inputs from field units, I.B. threat assessment report and the alternative security scheme, he expressed that he is not in a position to comment about adequacy but said that he is aware that there is no provision in any State for any specialised proximate cover equivalent to S.P.G. The system of security that would have been available to Shri Rajiv Gandhi would therefore be not equivalent to that which S.P.G. could have provided.

It is correct that such system of protection of proximate security would not be available with the State police. He further deposed, "I am generally aware of the nature of training given to S.P.G. Quality of training, motivation, alertness available to the State Police is not equivalent to that of S.P.G. The State Police has no power to overrule or veto as it is vested in the personnel of S.P.G. providing the proximate security. There is no system of advance security liaison in the alternative security scheme prepared by I.B. for Shri Rajiv Gandhi."

On page 13, 4.6.1997, he further said, "It was never discussed at any level that S.P.G. Act should be amended or not to be amended and why it cannot be amended. I cannot say whether it occurred to anybody or did not occur to anybody." Regarding threat after demitting of office, he said, "The threat can either increase or decrease after demitting the office of the Prime Minister depending on the reports on the subject."

43.7 From his statement, it is clearly borne out that the thinking in the Government was to provide only alternative security scheme and the need of S.P.G. or its equivalent was not at all thought of at any levle. The earlier arrangement was only ad hoc.

Period of Shri Chandra Shekhar as P.M.

44. Shri Chandra Shekhar's Government at the Centre is equally to be blamed. Its responsibility had rather all the more increased as it was in the saddle because of the outside support of the Congress. During his Government, Tamil Nadu was under the President's Rule.

The State Administration should have been streamlined. Police and security agencies should have been fully geared to meet the LTTE's menace which had established its tentacle network in the administrative and social fabric. It was during this period that the master-mind of the assassination, 'Sivarasan' was sighted in Madras in April, 1991, and had conducted dry run in the public meeting at Nandanam in the city of Madras on the night between 7-8 May 1991, although this event surfaced after Shri Rajiv Gandhi's assassination. Even during this period, LTTE had free flow of communication through clandestine wireless transmissions. it was the lifeline of LTTE's presence and activity in Tamil Nadu.

If the LTTE's activities would have been completely curbed and presence removed, such an event would not have occurred. Even in such a scenario, Shri Chandra Shekhar Government did not care to provide the needed protective cover to Shri Rajiv Gandhi either in the form of SPG by effecting amendment in the Act or in any other form by providing protective cover of some other force comparable to SPG. The responsibility of Shri Chandra Shekhar further increases in view of the fact that during this period, as Prime Minister, the was holding the portfolio of the Union Home Minister as well.

44.1 The threat scenario for Shri Rajiv Gandhi during his time was at its zenith more particularly during actual electioneering undertaken by Shri Rajiv Gandhi in the State of Tamil Nadu. It appears that Chandra Shekhar was aware of the fact that a threatened dignitary becomes even more vulnerable during election period as he has deposed before the Commission. He was also aware of the antagonism of the LTTE towards Rajiv Gandhi. During his deposition before the Commission, he stated:-

(dt. 26.4.94)

"It is a known fact that LTTE was annoyed with Shri Rajiv Gandhi...................various securities and Intelligence Agencies were reporting to the Government of the day about the threats to the life of Shri Rajiv Gandhi."

44.2 It appears that no thought was given to the security of Shri Rajiv Gandhi by the Government led by Shri Chandra Shekhar despite the fact that during his period the threat scenario had worsened. With regard to restoration of SPG cover to Shri Rajiv Gandhi, Shri Chandra Shekhar, during his deposition before the Commission, took the plea that since nobody had mentioned to him that protection of SPG be restored to Rajiv Gandhi, he had not considered it. He stated:-

(30th May 1995, page 7)

"Nobody at anytime mentioned the protection of SPG to given to Shri Rajiv Gandhi during my regime."

(page 8)

"SPG was never suggested by anybody, but whatever else was suggested was provided to Shri Rajiv Gandhi."

Shri Chandra Shekhar further started that had somebody suggested provision of SPG to Rajiv Gandhi, he would have given it even without the amendment; however, this contention of Shri Chandra Shekhar is contradicted by Shri Ratnakar Pandey, who claimed that he had repeatedly requested Shri Chandra Shekhar to provide SPG protection to Shri Rajiv Gandhi, but to no avail. This has been dealt with later. Shri Chandra Shekhar, during his deposition on this aspect, stated:-

(Page:- 12)

"If SPG would have been the complete answer to save Shri Rajiv Gandhi, and if anybody would have suggested, the SPG would have been provided to Shri Rajiv Gandhi, even without amendment of the SPG Act."

He also stated that whatever security measures were suggested, were provided:-

(Page 12)

"The security people approached me and I also approached Shri Rajiv Gandhi in connection with the security. I do not remember any security arrangement was revised or not, whatever was necessary was provided to him."

From the above approach of Shri Chandra Shekhar, it appears that he, at his level, did not give any serious consideration to the security aspect of Rajiv Gandhi and merely relied upon the suggestions made to him.

44.3 The approach at the other two levels-the bureaucrats as well as the Intelligence Agencies-to this vital issue appears to be equally apathetic.

A key bureaucrat, who should have applied his mind to this vital issue, was Shri S.K. Mishra, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister, Shri Chandra Shekhar. As Principal Secretary to the P.M. he was receiving all the important threat perception reports pertaining to the security of Shri Rajiv Gandhi. The action to be taken on these reports should have been very much his concern, more so when he was aware that the Prime Minister, Shri Chandra Shekhar, was also holding the portfolio of the Home Ministry. In his deposition dated 15th April, 1996, he admitted that no action was taken at his level even after receipt of serious threat perception reports in respect of the security of Rajiv Gandhi. His disregard to this vital aspect is reflected in his deposition that he did not consider it necessary to give any thought to the security of Rajiv Gandhi. He stated:-

(page 5)

"......I had received the report dated 1.4.1991 marked Ex.374....I must have received the report dated 6.5.1991.......it was for M.H.A. to take necessary action and so far as the PMO was concerned, it was for information....no action was taken by the PMO on these two reports....I cannot say whether these reports were brought to the notice of Prime Minister....Shri Chandra Shekhar was also the Home Minister."

(Page 11)

"Rajiv's security was not thought necessary to be taken up by the PMO as it was already the concern of the I.B. or the Home Ministry."

As regards evaluation of the security scheme for Shri Rajiv Gandhi, especially under changing threat scenario where the DMK Govt. In Tamil Nadu had been dismissed and Elections for the Lok Sabha had been announced, it appears that Shri S.K. Mishra Simply satisfied himself by 'presuming' that the I.B. would be appraising the Home Ministry on the issue; however, he took no efforts whatsoever, on his own, to find out what was being done and whether adequate attention was being paid to this vital aspect. His deposition before the Commission reveals his indifference to the issue. He stated:-

(Dt. 15.4.96, Page 2)

"...During my tenure there was no complaint whatsoever made to me regarding Rajiv's security. ....There was no move either in Chandra Shekhar's party or Rajiv's party for any amendment in the SPG Act....If any changes are to be brought about in the security system of Rajiv Gandhi the same should have been suggested by I.B. to the Home Ministry."

(Page 3)

".... I presume the security arrangements for Shri Rajiv Gandhi were adequate because if they had not been adequate I.B. would have come in with concrete proposals. There was no breach of adequate security."

"In case of Rajiv's security we were satisfied that the concerned agencies were alive to their responsibilities."

The then Cabinet Secretary, Shri Naresh Chandra, who was Home Secretary during the Period March 1990 till December 1990 and became Cabinet Secretary from December 1990 onwards, appears to display the same callous negligence towards Rajiv Gandhi's Security. Deposing before the Commission on 21st. June, 1996, the admitted that no proposal existed during the period to upgrade Rajiv Gandhi's security or to consider restoration of SPG protection to him. He stated:-

(Page 2)

"I do not recall any specific proposal regarding supplementing or adding to Rajiv's security from I.B...."

(Page 3)

"...I saw no specific proposal for the amendment of SPG Act after Shri Chandra Shekhar took over as Prime Minister so as to include within its ambit the former Prime Minister."

Shri Naresh Chandra, Cabinet Secretary does not seem to have bestowed any attention on the security of Rajiv Gandhi as is evident from his deposition in which he stated:-

(Page 9)

"I do not recall whether I chaired any internal security meeting during November 1990 to February, 1991 in connection with Shri Rajiv Gandhi's security. I do not recall whether Rajiv's security was ever reviewed by Shri Chandrashekhar upto February, 1991."

Shri Naresh Chandra, however, does recollect reviewing the security of Rajiv Gandhi in March 1991, but also states that no action for ensuring implementation of the decisions arrived at was taken at his level:-

"I did review Shri Rajiv's security in March 1991. As elections had started, special arrangements were necessary. His matter would come regarding his PSOs, his security etc. in many meeting after April 1991....

In the meeting chaired by the Cabinet Secretary, suggestions are considered by the entire operational exercise is done by the security agencies. In the light of the incidents which had taken place on 17.5.91 and 18.5.91 at Delhi, no action was required on the part of the Cabinet Secretariat...."

As is seen from the evidence already discussed, the specific proposal regarding augmenting of PSOs for Rajiv Gandhi to 3 PSOs was never implemented. Was it not the duty of the bureaucrat who chaired the internal security meetings to ensure implementation of the decisions taken in the meetings.

The attitude of the Home Ministry appears to be equally apathetic. Shri R.K. Bhargava. Who was the Union Home Secretary during the period December 1990 onwards, while deposing before the Commission, did not come up with any evidence which would indicate that any serious consideration was given to the question of Rajiv Gandhi's security during his tenure, especially in view of the changing threat perception to his life. He stated:-

(Page 7-8)

".....A group of officers used to meet once a month or twice a month to assess the threats to the lives of protected persons including Rajiv Gandhi......the possibility of Shri Rajiv Gandhi's touring after announcement of Elections was there, threat to his life had increased during his election tours......I do not remember this group of officers or any other group of officers ever met exclusively for assessing security to the life of Rajiv Gandhi from February 1991 onwards."

44.4 As far as the Intelligence Bureau was concerned, Shri M.K. Narayanan, the then Director, I.B., does not appear to have suggested or recommended any concrete measures to the Home Ministry to streamline the security arrangements for Shri Rajiv Gandhi. Mostly, existing instructions were reiterated to the states/UT Administrations concerned for implementation. Speaking about this aspect during his deposition before the Commission on 2nd. November, 1995, Shri M.K. Narayanan stated:-

(Page 4)

"....the alternative effective security system was introduced on my part in December 1990....very detailed instructions were given upgrading security of Shri Rajiv Gandhi....to the Stage Govt./State Police...."

It is clear that no efforts were taken by the I.B. to study whether the States/UT Administrations had the capability to provide adequate security to Shri Rajiv Gandhi or whether the instructions issued were actually being implemented. Speaking on this aspect, Shri M.K. Narayanan stated:-

"Reports used to come occasionally regarding implementation of the instructions from the I.B. officers from the respective States......beyond sending instruction, there was nothing more I could had done."

It is, thus, seen that during this period, the proximate security scheme for Shri Rajiv Gandhi was neither modified, nor augmented. Two proposals to augment his proximate security were put up by the I.B. during this period; however, both remained unimplemented. (15th April, 1991, proposal recommending provision of 3 PSOs to travel with Shri Rajiv Gandhi during his election tours and 20th May, 1991 proposal recommending immediate provision of NSG cover to Shri Rajiv Gandhi till the elections were completed). Neither did the P.M.O., nor the Home Ministry or the Intelligence Bureau ensure the implementation of the decisions and recommendations. In both the cases, (provision of PSOs as well as NSG cover) it was the Central Government which has to actually implement the measures.

No study of the actual operation of the alternative security scheme was ever made by the concerned during this period. The serious threats posed by the LTTE to Shri Rajiv Gandhi and his increased vulnerability during his hectic election tours were the considerations which should have been gone into by the concerned at all the three levels.

44.5 How Rajiv Gandhi was insecure during his period, there is evidence on record. Shri Ratnakar Pandey, during his deposition before the Commission on 11th. August, 1995, has stated:

(Page 12)

"....I had a talk with Shri Chandra Shekhar on the eve of his becoming the Prime Minister and even thereafter regarding Rajivji's security. I told him that V.P. Singh withdrew SPG cover to Rajivji and his life is in danger and at the support of Congress Chandra Shekharji had become the P.N. I asked him to provide him SPG cover and he promised that he will make all arrangements after becoming the P.M. He told me that would be his first priority. I used to tell him repeatedly whenever I used to meet him about this. He used to ignore my requests of providing SPG cover to Rajivji."

Deposition of Shri Mani Shankar Aiyar

(Dt. 6.12.96)

"..it was scandalous that neither the V.P. Singh Govt. nor the Chandrashekhar Govt. were even willing to address themselves to the fundamental need of a full fledged security system.."

(dt. 5.12.96, Page: 21)

"The successor Govt. never engaged the Congress Party or its leader or its security liaison man or any other Congress representative in any discussion on this system of security."

(page: 22)

Shri Rajiv Gandhi told me, on or around 10.1.1991, to prepare a draft reply to P.M. Shri Chandra Shekhar's letter of 4.1.1991. .....Shri Rajiv Gandhi specifically instructed me on the broad points.... Either we have a system which provides security or letters from those responsible for security taking out insurance in case something goes wrong."

Shri Ashwani Kumar Chopra, in his deposition before the Commission, on 26th July, 1995, has stated that he had accompanied Rajiv Gandhi on his various election tours just before the assassination and had found that his security cover was grossly inadequate. He stated:-

(Page 10)

"I had an opportunity to cover Rajiv Gandhi's election tour just two days before his assassination. On 19th of May, 1991,...took off from Delhi... and reached Ahmedabad. From there we had three or four election meetings. One was at Ananad and the other was at Baroda, one at Ahmedabad and the final meeting was at Jodhpur, Rajasthan.... I could see that security cover which was provided to Shri Rajiv Gandhi by the different State Govts. was almost nothing.... Only one PSO of the Delhi Police was with him all along...."

Shri Ashwini Chopra has deposed that Shri Rajiv Gandhi had expressed serious concern about the lack of security to him. Shri Chopra, in his deposition, stated that he had suggested to Shri Rajiv Gandhi to ask some Congress leaders close to Chandrashekhar to approach him for Rajiv's security. Shri Rajiv Gandhi and expressed that "I think some of them must have discussed the subject with Chandra Shekhar, but now there is no use talking to Chandra Shekhar about my security, because I am of this firm opinion that he will not take care of my security."

The alternative security scheme devised for Shri Rajiv Gandhi, though was not the brain child of Shri Chandra Shekhar government; but the blame still lay equally at his door looking to the time, place and the situation. The nature and quality of security needed was not provided. Alternative security scheme was devised during the time of Shri V.P. Singh's Government and amendment of SPG Act was not thought of then, and so cannot be pleaded in defence.

Available evidence suggests a conscious omission and neglect at all the three levels in ensuring provision of adequate security arrangements for Shri Rajiv Gandhi at the most crucial and critical juncture.

Findings and conclusions on security arrangements for Rajiv Gandhi

45 While conducting an inquiry into the sequence of events leading to the assassination pertaining to the security aspect, a very significant consideration which requires to be emphasised is the fact that extremely grave threats to the life of Shri Rajiv Gandhi existed even before he became the Prime Minister of India; the level of these threats increased dramatically during the period he remained the Prime Minister and further accentuated after he ceased to remain the Prime Minister. This fact alone made his security considerations stand on a singular footing-unparalleled so far and not comparable to any other high dignitary.

45.1 Brutal assassination of his mother, Smt. Indira Gandhi by her own security guards, underscored the need to immediately devise foolproof methods to ensure effective security for her successor Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi. this thinking finally led to the creation of SPG in 1985, which was conferred a legal status as an armed force of the Union in 1988. the creation of SPG was recognition of the fact that under existing threat scenario, there was an essential requirement for creation of a highly trained, compact, elite special force to provide proximate security to the VVIP.

45.2 SPG is the best proximate security system available in the country. The training, motivation and physical fitness of SPG personnel are superior to those in any alternative security system. The techniques of proximate security and technology deployed by the SPG are highly specialised and exclusively geared to ensure the best possible proximate security to the Protectee. The system of Advance Security Liaison and composite functioning of Close Protection Detail are illustrative examples. The SPG also has an edge over other proximate security systems as far as legal protection and the power to over-rule in security matters are concerned. All these features make SPG a formidable and exclusive Proximate Security System.

45.3 It was possible to have provided SPG protection to Shri Rajiv Gandhi after he ceased to be Prime Minister by amending the SPG Act which could have been easily achieved; Operational constraints of SPG having to simultaneously providing protection to the incumbent Prime Minister as well as the former PM could have been overcome at that time n the manner in which they were overcome in 1991 when SPG Act was amended and its protection was extended to several former PMs and their families at short notice.

It cannot be outrightly said that the SPG was not in a position to meet the requirements of the security of the Prime Minister and the ex-Prime Ministers simultaneously as is evident from the opinion of Director SPG in which he stated that in case SPG is ordered to continue to provide security, necessary arrangements would be taken care of.

45.4 It appears that the extension of SPG Act or continuation of SPF protection to Shri Rajiv Gandhi was not in contemplation from the very beginning.

What weighed at all levels is that under the law, SPG is meant for the Prime Minister alone and cannot be provided to ex-prime Ministers; SPG was facing operational difficulties on account of paucity of manpower. It was decided that the Security of Shri Rajiv Gandhi should be handed over to the States and Union Territories without regard to the fact that he continued to fact the highest threat which no other dignitary was facing and without regard to the threat which may be there at a given time, place and situation. The question of Rajiv Gandhi's security was not at all considered in its true and correct perspective.

45.5 At all the three levels i.e. Security agencies, Bureaucrats and the Cabinet, it was not thought whether Rajiv Gandhi would remain secure in the hand of the States/UTs concerned without a specialised body for proximate security. Vital factors were totally overlooked especially the grave nature of LTTE threats to whom Rajiv Gandhi, as ex Prime Minister, had become an easy and soft target - more vulnerable to attacks from such determined and deadly elements.

45.6 The possibility of raising another specialised force which could be called by any other name such as Central Protection Force or Special Protection Force was not examined though it was suggested by some bureaucrats who thought it was suggested by some bureaucrats who thought of putting together a 'Nucleus Force' or special Force etc. Director, SPG Shyamal Datta has deposed that such a force could be created comparable to SPG under M.H.A. circular dated 14.51985. But to this aspect no importance was attached.

The V.P. Singh Government turned a deaf ear to the protests made subsequently after cessation of SPG cover on 09.02.1990. Amendment was suggested but was given due consideration. Some such system should have been devised whereby Centre could have provided adequate and effective security comparable to SPG with exclusive security comparable to SPG with exclusive responsibility for proximate security to Shri Rajiv Gandhi exercising full control over the same and not leaving it to the States.

45.7 The Intelligence Bureau which was responsible for devising an effective and adequate adequate security scheme for Shri Rajiv Gandhi after he demitted office of the Prime Minister, followed a flawed perception that threat to Shri Rajiv Gandhi had automatically decreased after he ceased to be the Prime Minister, which was contradicted by their own threat perception reports.

The fallacious threat perception was contrary to, and inconsistent with, the inputs received by the I.B. HQs; In the report of IB HQs, the LTTE had been placed in the Category of 'unspecified quarters'. such a calibration of inputs was nothing short of misrepresentation on the part of I.B. which may have resulted into misleading of the consideration of question of the security to be provided to Shri Rajiv Gandhi.

It was know that militancy and terrorism have been adopting latest devices. LTTE is known to be the deadliest organisation with cyanide culture and suicide squads. No one faced any threat including the Prime Minister or the President from such a deadliest organisation. Thus, Rajiv Gandhi was the most highly threatened person in the country and became more insecure after demitting office in comparison to even the incumbent Prime Minister and the President.

The sources of his threats were many and deadliest. If the alternative security scheme provided to Shri Rajiv Gandhi was thought adequate for such a highly threatened person, Then why in 1985 SPG was at all crated. There was no need of SPG. Such a security scheme could have been devised even at that time. But the Government thought that Shri Rajiv Gandhi would not be safe if left to the States. So a Central Force was created for his protection.

45.4 No study at any level appears to have been made to determine whether any security unit existed in any State in India, which was comparable to SPG. The level of training, motivation, equipment and weaponry available with State Police units were not calibrated. This shows that the issue of Rajiv Gandhi's security was not considered in correct perspective and proper light.

It cannot be said that the Government was not knowing that such specialised trained units are not present in the States which may give protection having power of complete control and veto. Shri V. P. Singh Government and Shri Chandra Shekhar Government and Shri Chandra Shekhar Government ought to have called the reports as to haw the alternative scheme is actually seen in operation to find out its deficiency.

45.9 It also appears that no study of the actual operation of the alternative security scheme was ever made. It did not go into consideration that LTTE had already spread its network. The Tamil population and the State Government of Tamil Nadu was sympathetic which was reflected in the entire State Administration including the Police machinery. In June, 1990,Padmanabha had been assassinated in Madras by the LTTE and the Killers had made good their escape from Tamil Nadu coast to Jaffna.

It also did not go into consideration that during the election days particularly, the visits of Shri Rajiv Gandhi would be more frequent and even in interior areas and countryside. Hectic tours would be undertaken and several public meetings would be held in a day. Would such a specialised proximate security system be available to him at all the places on the same day? This did not go into consideration.

45.10 The I.B. authorities have stated that the charter of I.B. does not extend to oversee, control or supervise the implementation of the scheme. I.B. has no authority or jurisdiction over security in operation anywhere. But such reports can be called or field units can send such reports which may require rethinking on the security system. If Bule Book is not implemented by the States for the Prime Minister in the absence of SPG, would it not be in the charter or domain of the I.B. to propose for setting up any Central Force for the security of the Prime Minister.

45.11 The Prime Minister, Shri V. P. Singh, Should not have accepted the advice tendered by the security experts and bureaucrats and should have critically evaluated the vital issue of adequate protection.

It appears that Shri V.P. Singh only extends his lip sympathy when he states that he had the highest respect for Gandhi family and Rajiv Gandhi's security was his personal concern. If such was his concern, then he ought to have considered the question not in a myopic way but with farsightedness. It appears that without shouldering the responsibility, the buck was passed on to the States knowing very well the lacunae in the State protective system. It is unbelievable that Shri V. P. could be swayed by the opinion of the security and bureaucratic experts. But it appears that the question of Rajiv Gandhi's Security was examined with a closed mind.

45.12 What stands out clearly from the above sequence is that there appears to be continuous, deliberate under-estimation by the I.B. of the threat perception assessment to the security of Shri Rajiv Gandhi which implies that the I.B. deliberately misrepresented the facts pertaining to the threat perceptions relating to the security of Shri Rajiv Gandhi on the basis of which decisions were to be taken regarding the nature of security to be provided to him. No study was conducted at any of the three levels i.e. Intelligence and security agencies, bureaucrats and the political executive to ensure a system of inbuilt, systemic implementation in the scheme.

45.13 Any system, like a chain, is as strong as its weakest link, and security is no exception, There was no modification/enhancement in the proximate security set up of Shri Rajiv Gandhi from the time the Alternative Security Scheme was implemented till he was assassinated on 21st May 1991. Only two proposals to enhance his proximate security were put up during this period and both remained unimplemented. The first such proposal was on 15th April, 1991, which envisaged provision of 3 PSOs instead of one to travel with Shri Rajiv Gandhi during his election tours as demanded by the DGPs of the States; the second proposal was on 20th May, 1991 which sought for immediate provision of NSG cover to Shri Rajiv Gandhi till the elections were completed. It may be mentioned that Shri Rajiv Gandhi died due to failure of his proximate security.

45.14 A Very serious question which requires very anxious consideration by the Commission is whether Shri V.P. Singh was actuated by malice, bias or animus in not providing security of such nature and level as would have protected Shri Rajiv Gandhi.

So far as animus is concerned it is difficult to fathom the heart and mind of any human being. It can only be inferred by circumstances.

If all the steps are taken into consideration cumulatively along with the fact that the question of security to Shri. Rajiv Gandhi was not given due attention in respect of the capability available in the states and in respect of the threat scenario of Shri Rajiv Gandhi, the consideration thus was not an honest one. It appears that no thinking was done at any level regarding the possibility of amendment of SPG Act. Sensing the political mood of their political masters, the Intelligence Agencies prepared and the concerned bureaucrats propagated the alternative security scheme for the protection of Shri Rajiv Gandhi.

Extraneous considerations also appear to have been very much in focus. Thus the action can be said to be motivated on the part of Shri V.P. Singh and his Government. The required seriousness, anxiety and concern was lacking and responsibility for security was shifted to States without taking into account the non-availability of the required nature and quality of proximate security unit in States and such a casual consideration of the question cannot be said to be prompted by genuine and bona fide intentions. The personal relations of Shri V.P. Singh with Shri Rajiv Gandhi too were strained and were far from normal and satisfactory.

However, I leave this matter for soul-searching by Shri V.P.Singh himself. The consequence (assassination) may not have been intended but the devising of such an inadequate alternative security scheme resulted into such an unintended consequence.

45.15 Thus, the way in which the matter of providing security to Shri Rajiv Gandhi was processed by the IB, at the level of the bureaucrats and also at the levels of the Council of Ministers shows that it was not examined thoroughly and it appears that a decision was taken only with a view to entrust the responsibility to the States without any consideration of the requirements or the need of extension of SPG cover to Shri Rajiv Gandhi by amendment of the SPG Act or the need of creating any Central protective force having regard to the threat scenario of Shri Rajiv Gandhi.

What circumstances do point out and weigh very heavily that the question of providing security to Shri Rajiv Gandhi was not given due weight, care and attention which it actually needed and that it has been prompted by the consideration that despite demitting office, Shri Rajiv Gandhi should not have that high profile visibility or look like a very high dignitary equal to the Prime Minister and members of the Cabinet were opposed to extension of SPG cover to Shri Rajiv Gandhi or prompted by the consideration that even in Shri Rajiv Gandhi's government, ex-Prime Ministers were excluded from such a protective cover.

45.16 The question of Rajiv's security was not at all examined in the manner in which it should have been examined. All the inputs and consideration which ought to have been thought of and discussed were not taken into account. There was complete lack of foresight in considering this question.

All the inputs received in respect of threat perceptions and assessments should have been looked into at all the three level but in fact at all the three levels, they have been ignored. No study was undertaken as to whether the nature and quality of security which he was having as Prime Minister, if not available, can that nature and quality of security be provided by the States, whether there are any exclusive units for providing security in the States of that nature comparable to the SPG. Even no consultation were made with the States before finalising the scheme as to whether the States would be able to shoulder the responsibility of providing proximate security of the nature which Shri Rajiv Gandhi was having as Prime Minister.

45.17 Blame lies equally at the door of the Government headed by Chandra Shekhar looking into the time, place and the situation. The nature and quality of security needed, under the circumstances prevailing during Chandra Shekhar's period, was not provided. Alternative security scheme was devised during the time of Shri V.P. Singh's Government and amendment of SPG Act was not thought of then, cannot be pleaded in defence by him. The threat scenario during his period had drastically changed and required a complete streamlining of the security arrangements for Shri Rajiv Gandhi, which was not contemplated at all.

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