Internal Security Architecture Shortcomings – Key Forces, NIA, IB, CCTNS, etc.

What is ‘Z’ Category Security?


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Categories of security

Mains level : Need for security to politicians

A noted Parliamentarian from Hyderabad has rejected the ‘Z’ category security by the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) accorded to him.

Security Provisions in India

  • In India, security is provided to high-risk individuals by the police and local government.
  • The level of security needed by any individual is decided by the Ministry of Home Affairs, based on inputs received from intelligence agencies which include the IB and R&AW.
  • Individuals such as PM, home minister, and other officials such as the National Security Advisor generally get security cover because of the positions they occupy.
  • In addition to this, persons who are believed to be under threat also receive security cover.

What is ‘Z’ Category Security?

In India, the category covers are X, Y, Y-plus, Z, Z-plus, and SPG (Special Protection Group).

  • X Category: The protectee gets one gunman. Protectees in the Y category have one gunman for mobile security and one (plus four on rotation) for static security.
  • Y Plus category: It receives the cover of two gunmen (plus four on rotation) for mobile security, and one (plus four on rotation) for residence security,
  • Z Category: It has six gunmen for mobile security and two (plus 8) for residence security. They get 10 security personnel for mobile security, and two (plus 8) for residence security.
  • Z Plus Category: It is provided by National Security Guard commandos whereas the other category of security is provided by the Delhi police or the ITBP or CRPF personnel.

What about Special Protection Group (SPG) Cover?

  • The SPG cover is meant only for the PM and his immediate family.
  • After Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her own security guards in 1984, the Rajiv Gandhi government decided to create a special cadre of security personnel for the PM.
  • In March 1985, following the recommendations of a committee set up by the Home Ministry, a special unit was created for this purpose under the Cabinet Secretariat.
  • This unit, initially called the Special Protection Unit, was renamed as Special Protection Group in April 1985.


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