Thursday, October 20, 2016

All that you need to know about security categories in India

If you've been watching the news, you'd know that the leading news channel's Editor-in-Chief will soon be given Y-category security, after they received threats from terror groups based in Pakistan. Keeping aside debates and questions about whether he really needs it, or whether you think that the money is being wasted, here's a round-up of who gets security and what kind of security.

Security is provided for high-risk dignitary who are constantly under threat; they come under the security blanket and are provided security by the National Security Guard commandos, Police and local government. 

The President, Vice-President, Prime-Minister, Supreme Court and High Court Judges, Governors of State, Chief Ministers, Cabinet Ministers fall in this category. Depending on the threat a person faces; the Home Ministry and the Intelligence Bureau (IB) officials appr Ministry and the Intelligence Bureau (IB) officials approve the category of security detailing to be provided.  

SPG category
This was formed in 1988. The Special Protection Group (SPG) is an armed force which provides proximate security to the Prime Minister of India, former Prime Minister of India and members of their immediate families (wife, husband, children and parents). 

It is one of the most expensive VIP security forces. The srength of the security detail is not disclosed. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former PMs Manmohan Singh and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Vadra receive security of this category.

Security to VVIPs, VIPs, politicians, celebrities and sportspersons is provided by NSG (National Security Guards)- Special Forces unit under Ministry of Home Affairs ITBP (Indo-Tibetan Border Police)- Ensures security in the borders of India. Raised during Sino Indian war of 1962 CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force)- Largest Central Armed Police Force, functions under Ministry of Home Affairs.

Z+ category
Security cover of 36 personnel (including 10+ NSG Commando, Police personnel). The NSG commandos are equipped with sophisticated MP5 guns, and modern communication gadgets. Each commando is an expert in martial arts and unarmed combat skills. At present, Z+ Security is extended to 17 VIPs

Z category
Security cover of 22 personnel (including 4 or 5 NSG commando, Police personnel). The security is provided by the Delhi police of the ITBP or CRPF personnel and one escort car.

Y category
Security cover of 11 personnel (including 1 or 2 commando, Police personnel). The security is provided by two personal security officers.

X category 
Security cover of 2 or 5 personnel [Only armed police personnel]. The security is provided by on PSO (personal security officer).

After the Uri attack, in the fear of terrorist strike, security audit has been reviewed for each category especially Z+ and Z category. But does this level of security promise victory of life over death? There have been instances of lapses in security. 

Rajbir Singh, a famous encounter specialist was provided Z-level security, but was killed in March 2008. Former Union Minister Pramod Mahajan was killed by his brother; former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was killed by a member of her own security detail; and Rajiv Gandhi's assassination is a story we still haven't forgotten

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