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Andhra Pradesh CM is slated to have security cover that officials believe will be “like the Special Protection Group (SPG)” that covers the Prime Minister.
The force will be known as the Special Security Group (SSG). The primary goal is to provide round-the-clock safety to the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and their immediate family members—spouse, parents, and children.
The Print quotes Superintendent of Police (Intelligence) Babujee Attada, an IPS officer from the 2011 batch who has been selected to be the first SSG director, as saying that the SSG law has been given to the governor for approval and that the rules-making process is already underway.
He added that the initiative had been in the works for months and that there had been no change in threat perception that had made the move necessary.
The structure and functioning of SSG
The SSG set-up will consist of the SOC (operations centre), a 24-hour command center that will be based in the state capital, the mobile FORCE (Field Operational Reconnaissance and Surveillance Centre), the SPARC (Planning and Review Centre), and the SEED (Excellence Academy), a commando-specific training facility. The setup will also include the SK9 (canine training facility).
The unit will have 431 authorized posts and report to the intelligence division. Currently, the CM’s Z+ category security involves roughly 300 people.
The commandos and policemen will come from a variety of wings, including the Octopus (Organisation for Counter-Terrorist Operations), District Police Armed Reserve, AP Special Police, and the Greyhounds, an expert anti-Naxalite commando squad established by the combined AP administration and police in 1989.
According to The Print, which obtained access to the vision document, the SSG motto is “Kaizen,” symbolizing the Japanese philosophy of continual improvement and excellence in all operational areas of skills, tactics, and strategies.
Attada described its nature and said that it would use a zero-error approach. Additionally, he emphasized its importance, which is found in its exclusivity—protecting only the CM and his family and no one else.
In outlining how it operates, Attada said that the SPG is intended to be the template for everything from attire to work culture, screening procedures for induction that assess individuals’ physical, psychological, and intellectual capabilities, to specialized training programs like SEED.
According to Andhra Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP, intelligence) P.S.R. Anjaneyulu, with the establishment of the SSG through an Act, Andhra Pradesh becomes the first state to have such a specialized and committed protection group, utilizing state-of-the-art technologies similar to those used by the Special Protection Group to protect the Prime Minister.
Taneti Vanita, the AP home minister, stated that a cutting-edge training facility would be established to train SSG members. In contrast to conventional policing, they would be performing a highly specialized mission requiring exceptional physical and mental abilities.
Criticism on the timing and need of SSG
The leaders of the opposition TDP have criticized the formation of the SSG, as well as its timing and necessity.
The SSG decision comes at a time when the political situation in Andhra Pradesh is tense due to the arrest of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) head and former Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu in the alleged skill development scam, which has also sparked mass protests in the state.
In addition, the assembly elections are scheduled for May, and Jagan is likely to visit different districts and hold rallies and roadshows on a daily basis as the election season approaches.
Somireddy Chandramohan Reddy, a senior TDP leader and former minister, questioned the CM about any wrongdoings he may have committed. “From whom does he see such great danger to have an SPG-like security cover?” He further added that the CM’s father, former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, was widely accessible to the public, whereas Jagan avoids them.
TDP national spokesperson Kommareddy Pattabhi Ram argued that Jagan was fulfilling all of his fantasies because he knew he would have to resign the CM seat the following year.