Rahul’s journey leaves clueless cops fuming

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LUCKNOW: The Uttar Pradesh police (UPP) has sent a note to the chief of the Special Protection Group (SPG) on the undisclosed train travel of Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi — who is an SPG protectee — from Gorakhpur to (Kurla) Mumbai on October 18.

The communique also included references to previous occasions when the Congress leader had made undisclosed journeys by road as well.

Home secretary Deepak Kumar on Friday confirmed that the additional director general of police (ADG), security, has dashed off a letter to the SPG chief to apprise the agency of the development.

When asked about the tone of the note, he said it was an official communique from one security agency to another.

Rahul Gandhi’s train travel has come as a major embarrassment for the security agencies in UP who failed to get wind of the development till Rahul apparently disembarked in Mumbai. The police went full throttle hunting for Rahul’s movements in Gorakhpur after it was revealed that he left his aircraft at Gorakhpur airport and took a taxi to the city.

What apparently prompted the state authorities to keep mum on the issue was probably that fact that more than the carelessness on the part of Rahul and his SPG cover regarding their decision to not inform the state agencies, the incident raised a question mark on the tall claims of regular surveillance and security blanket of the police at public places; that too when Rahul’s movement in the city was not limited to him hopping into a car at the airport and getting out of it at the railway station.

The reports said that Rahul changed two sets of taxis before entering the railway station.

The group first hired two taxis from airport to the Ganga Devi police outpost in the city. There, they shifted to another set of taxis which dropped them outside the railway station. This was confirmed by Kamlesh Yadav, the driver of one of the taxis engaged by the group to move in the city.

“Honestly speaking, I didn’t even look at all those who got in. I could have never guess that it was Rahul and his security, till someone passing from the site wondered aloud that one of them looked like Rahul Gandhi,” Kamlesh said. The reports said that the reservation chart of coach number S-3 (sleeper class) had Rahul’s only first name mentioned on it against the berth number 33 apparently to evade the identification.

The sources in the railways said that the reservations were confirmed through the quota of minister of state for railways. Apart from Rahul, a team of as many as 8 SPG commandos was accompanying him.

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This post was submitted by Remya.

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