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VIP Security cover for 298 protectees, 14 given the top Z Plus cover

Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Mayawati (C) is surrounded by security personnel as she walks towards a news conference in the northern Indian city of Lucknow January 25, 2008. Months after an outright poll win in Uttar Pradesh, Mayawati, a Dalit or "untouchable" leader, is gaining political momentum nationally and could hold the balance of power after a general election slated for 2009. REUTERS/Pawan Kumar (INDIA)

New Delhi: Almost all governments are under pressure to give VIP security protection to politicians and high-profile persons. The present NDA government has doled out VIP security cover to nearly 300 persons, often seen as a status symbol by several politicians. 

The top Z plus security cover has been provided to 26 persons, while Z category security cover has been given to 58 persons. The next category of Y plus protection has been given to 144 persons and the Y category to two persons, the last category of X security cover has been provided to 68 persons. 

The Lok Sabha was told today that security is provided on the basis of threat assessment done by Central Security Agency. It is subject to periodic review. Based on such review, the security cover is continued, withdrawn or modified. Hence, the number of protectees is not static and varies over time. 

Presently, the elite “Black Cat Commandos” of the National Security Guard (NSG) provide mobile security cover to 14 ‘Z+’ category protectees. NSG has deployed 551 security personnel for the protection of these protectees. Among the Z plus protectees are RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, BJP President Amit Shah, BJP patriarch L K Advani and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. 

The Lok Sabha was told by Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir, in a written reply, that it was difficult to assess the expenditure on security precisely as  it includes salary and allowances to security personnel, communication, transport vehicles, etc. which are accounted for under respective budget heads of different security agencies, including State Government agencies, providing security cover. Such details are not compiled centrally. 

There are special instructions for security of the President, the Vice President and the Prime Minister, which are contained in their respective Blue Books, issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs. The Prime Minister is provided proximate security by the Special Protection Group (SPG). 

Security arrangements for other individuals are made as per the guidelines laid down in the ‘Yellow Book’ titled ‘Security arrangements for the protection of individuals’. The security arrangements for such individuals are made after careful assessment of their threat perception by the Central Security Agency. Depending on the level of threat, security is provided in Z+,Z,Y+,Y and X categories. 

Certain categories of individuals, such as Union Ministers, State Chief Ministers and Judges of Supreme Court and High Courts, are provided positional/statutory security cover to facilitate bold and impartial decision making. Their security is withdrawn after they demit their office.

By TIS Staffer
the authorBy TIS Staffer

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