New Delhi: Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut has been given a Y plus security cover by the Modi government in light of her claims about fearing Mumbai Police, which followed her statements about the presence of an alleged drug nexus in Bollywood, and her ensuing spat with the Shiv Sena and the Maharashtra government.
The Y+ security cover constitutes the third rung of a multi-level framework that oversees the assignment of protection to people who are believed to be facing a certain level of threat.
It will place Ranaut under the watch of elite commandos of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) round the clock, reportedly making her the first Bollywood actor to court this privilege. She is one of only 15 people around the country who currently enjoy a Y+ security cover, including Chief Justice of India (CJI) S.A. Bobde and Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
Here’s a look at the different categories of security that the central government can sanction for an individual believed to be under threat.
Different categories of security cover
The different levels of security cover in India are Z+, Z, Y+, Y , and X. The Special Protection Group (SPG) is an exclusive privilege for the Prime Minister. Families of former prime ministers are eligible for it for five years after the tenure ends.
Until earlier this year, the Gandhis — Rahul, Priyanka and Sonia — were entitled to the cover as family members of two former PMs, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, who were assassinated, but it was revoked following a fresh “security review”.
Members of the SPG are trained in line with the guidelines of the US Secret Service — which protects the American President — and are equipped with the FNF-2000 assault rifle, among other weapons.
Among the remaining categories, the level of security to be accorded is decided on the basis of the nature and gravity of the perceived threat. The threat assessment is carried out by security agencies.
Under Z plus security — current protectees include Union Home Minister Amit Shah and the Gandhis — protectees get a 55-strong security detail comprising personnel of the Railway Protection Force (RPF), the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and 10 commandos of the elite National Security Guard (NSG) along with local police.
A Z security cover comes with 30 armed personnel split between residential and mobile security. Both Z+ and Z security covers also include an escort vehicle.
Under the Y+ security cover, five personnel — a CRPF commander and four constables — are stationed at a protectee’s residence. Six personal security officers (PSOs) are deployed with the protectee on a rotational basis in three shifts. This means that two PSOs are with the protectee at all times, a source in the Ministry of Home Affairs told ThePrint.
One notch down is the Y category security, which comes with a total of eight personnel. Out of these, five personnel (one commander, four constables) are stationed at the residence of the protectee while three armed PSOs are deployed with the protectee on a rotation basis in three shifts.
The X cover, the least elaborate, comes with three PSOs accompanying the protectee — one at a time — in three shifts and no residential security. While the X security cover involves state police, the other four are also drawn from the central armed police forces.
According to a response offered by the government in the Lok Sabha in 2018, around 300 people had been provided security under various categories.
(With inputs from Ananya Bhardwaj)
This report has been updated to clarify that reports suggest Kangana is the first ‘Bollywood’ actor to receive the security cover
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