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If you watch the news, you must have come across the terms X, Y, Z and Z plus security. These are grades of safety nets provided to certain citizens in a bid to protect them from anti-social elements. Each grade symbolises the number of personnel deployed to keep an individual safe. These personnel typically belong to the NSG, SPG, CRPF and ITBP cadre.
Here is a breakup of the number of personnel deployed for different security categories.
These security grades don't only protect politicians, diplomats and other dignitaries. Recently, the Centre offered two Bollywood celebs, namely, the director of the controversial film The Kashmir Files and the actor Kangana Ranaut, Y security.
As you already know by now, broadly, there are four types of security details. All of which are provided by the Central Government. After assessing the danger levels, the Centre awards a particular security detail to VIPs, VVIPs, actors, entertainers and even athletes.
Let us look at them in detail in the next section.
We will begin describing the most high-profile security detail first.
Introducing the highest level of protection provided to some of the most powerful yet most vulnerable citizens, Z Plus security is the top-wrung security detail in India. Individuals who receive this type of security sometimes also get an additional SPG covering. SPG stands for Special Protection Group, and usually, the Prime Minister and their family members are provided with this degree of security.
The SPG additional cover came into effect in 1988, and the need for this security detail was felt greatly following the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
Z Plus security includes a 55-person entourage, of which, usually, 10 personnel are NSG commandos, while the rest may be the civil police. All commandos are fully trained in unarmed combat and martial arts. Other than the Prime Minister, such security detail has been offered to top-wrung BJP ministers, such as Amit Shah and Yogi Adityanath.
Moving from Z+ to Z security, it comprises an entourage of 22 personnel protecting VIPS and celebs. This 22-member crew includes at least 4 to 5 National Security Guards (NSGs). In addition, it also has civil police personnel.
Z security has been assigned to members of the Indo-Tibetan Police, CRPF and even the Delhi Police. In addition to the entourage, an escort car is also available for enhanced security. Celebrities such as Baba Ramdev and actor Aamir Khan have received Z-level security in the past.
Falling just below Z and Z+ security is the Y-level security detail, which comprises an 11-person entourage. This group includes at least 1 to 2 NSG commandos along with civil police of a particular state. This depends on the location an individual requires this level of security.
The Y security crew also comprises two PSOs. Quite a few politicians and celebrities in the past have been assigned this level of security. One of the most recent ones is director Vivek Agnihotri and actress Kangana Ranaut. She reported being fearful of the Mumbai Police after the negligence shown by the Mumbai Police in the case of actor Sushant Singh Rajput.
The decision to provide her Y-level security came just two days prior to her leaving her Himachal home to return to Mumbai.
India's last, but in no way the least critical security level is X. It is offered to several citizens across India, and one doesn't strictly have to be a dignitary or celebrity to be assigned this security detail. This cover comes with a 2-person crew, both of whom are armed civil police officers.
However, the 2 PSOs keep rotating, and you ultimately have 6 PSOs completing 8-hour shifts. One must know that this security detail does not comprise any commando.
It may also interest you to know that for security details like Z plus, Z and Y, only the commandos are assigned to travel with the dignitaries. The civil policemen keep changing. Whichever state the VIP visits, it is the responsibility of that state to provide them with cops to complete their entourage.
Even though the four main agencies, including the NSG, CRPF, and ITBP, are used for different security details, NSGs and SPGs are only called upon in acute security emergencies. Know that the SPG is also the most expensive security cover in the country and provides maximum security to some of India's most vulnerable dignitaries.
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