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Let me begin by greeting all officers and men of the Special Protection Group on the auspicious occasion of its 27th Raising Day. I congratulate all those who have won medals and trophies for outstanding performance.
In its journey of 27 years, the SPG has served our country with the highest levels of commitment and professionalism. It has emerged as the premier organization in the country in the field of VIP security. I am sure everyone present here would agree that the SPG has excelled in discharging its duties, which are often difficult, complex and stressful. It has fully lived up to the expectations with which it was established. This bears ample testimony to the caliber of all those who have contributed to building the SPG. Indeed, on the occasion of its Raising Day, we should especially remember the hard work of those who have been members of the SPG in the past.
We are all aware of the tragic circumstances in which the decision to set up the SPG was taken. The force was conceived as a highly specialized and trained outfit of specially selected officers for providing round-the-clock and foolproof security to the highest political leadership of our nation. The security that the SPG is required to provide should be discreet and unobtrusive, and yet effective. The force must ensure the safety of political leaders who in reaching out to the masses sometimes tend to bypass the security chain. Moreover, the federal nature of our polity poses its own challenges in tying up security arrangements in the States.
I have been a direct witness to the work of the SPG for about eight years now and I have no hesitation in saying that this elite organization has acquitted itself remarkably well in meeting these difficult demands and challenges. The work of the SPG in the recently concluded Assembly elections in five States is an example. I appreciate the organization’s efforts in making security arrangements for protectees for their election related tours in all the five States. It was indeed a challenge to provide security to the protectees during the extensive tours that they undertook for the elections and the SPG met this challenge with very hard work and meticulous planning.
Terrorism today has acquired new forms and new shapes. It is now often driven by a bold and educated class of terrorists. While security forces are seen and known and their actions are mostly predictable, the new-age terrorists are invisible and possess far greater capability to create networks for sharing knowledge, skills and resources. Their activities are marked by the use of the latest technology as a force multiplier. The security environment in our country today is also impacted by a large number of external factors which are not really within our control. It is therefore of critical importance that the SPG should continue upgrading itself continuously both in terms of technology and training. It must induct top quality and highly motivated personnel in adequate numbers, provide them an environment that encourages good performance and equip them with the latest technology and skills to meet the ever emerging new challenges. I assure our Government’s full support to the organization in its endeavors in this direction.
I am happy that the organization has been adopting innovative methods in training its personnel and acquiring security preparedness capabilities in line with international best practices. It has also been undertaking in-house Research and Development for improvements in technology and weaponry and possible measures to meet the threat of Nuclear Biological and Chemical warfare.
Before I conclude, I would like to thank the SPG and its personnel for ensuring the safety and security of all the SPG protectees.
I wish the SPG all the very best for the future. I also wish its personnel all success in their personal and professional lives.
Thank you. Jai Hind.