An exclusive specially trained paramilitary unit armed with the latest gadgets and weaponry has now been deployed for security of Parliament house complex.
The team, drawn from the best trained men and women of the Central Reserve Police Force, has been named the Parliament Duty Group. The creation of the PDG was mooted in the aftermath of the 2001 Parliament terror attack.
The Parliament House till now was guarded by troops drawn from various units of the CRPF and Delhi Police.
The new squad, 1,540 personnel-strong, will comprise those who have not only successfully completed commando and tactics training, but are also adept in dealing with nuclear and bio-chemical emergencies.
"The squad is operational and has been deployed. These personnel have been trained according to specific requirements of this important task which needs them to be highly motivated and skillful to deal with an security challenge," CRPF Inspector General (Northern Range) A P Maheshwari told PTI.
The IG will be the administrative controller of the squad.
The Union Home Ministry had approved the creation of the special unit in April last year to guard the complex which comprises the main Parliament House, reception office building, Sansadiya Gyanpeeth (Parliament library building) and Parliament House Annexe.
The commando-trained CRPF personnel have been armed with the latest gadgets and weaponry and they will soon be given special emblems to don them on their uniforms.
The unit will function under the operational command of the Additional Secretary (Security) of Parliament House with the overall in-charge being the Director General of CRPF.
The PDG will also coordinate with personnel of the parliamentary security unit, Delhi Police and regular CRPF, guarding the periphery and approach routes to Parliament House.
Sources involved in the raising and deployment of this group said some clearances on the financial and manpower front are to be obtained from the both the finance and home ministries.
The PDG will coordinate with personnel of parliamentary security unit, Delhi Police and regular paramilitary contingents, guarding the periphery and approach routes to Parliament House located in the heart of national capital.
The Union home ministry, in its instructions in April, 2012, had directed the CRPF to keep the age profile of the PDG young.
The troopers in this squad will have a fixed tenure of four years.
The CRPF headquarters had suggested creation of an exclusive security group for Parliament House soon after the terror attack in 2001 and it had moved the first proposal in this regard a few years after the incident.
On December 13, 2001, five heavily-armed gunmen stormed the Parliament complex and opened indiscriminate fire, killing five Delhi Police personnel, a woman CRPF official, two Parliament watch and ward staff and a gardener. A journalist, who was injured, died later. All five terrorists were shot dead by security forces.
Till now, a mix of CRPF personnel drawn from various Delhi-based battalions of the force used to guard the Parliament House.
The PDG will have distinct units of security personnel, communications experts, quick reaction teams and medical staff.
Photograph: B Mathur/Reuters