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As Gautam Adani gets Z security, a look at the X, Y, Z and Z+ of protection

The all-India cover is expected to cost Adani about Rs 15-20 lakh per month

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Gautam Adani | security | Adani Group

BS Reporter  |  New Delhi 



Gautam Adani
The Union home ministry has accorded the security cover to Adani, 60, based on a threat perception report prepared by central security agencies (Photo: Bloomberg)

Chairman has reportedly been given a 'Z' category VIP cover by the central government. Deployed for Adani’s will be commandos of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), which is India's largest Central Armed Police Force.

The industrialist – whose net worth is $138.7 billion (according to Forbes' Real-Time Billionaires at 6.06 pm on August 18 – will have to pay for this all-India cover, which is expected to cost him about Rs 15-20 lakh per month. The Union home ministry has accorded the cover to Adani, 60, based on a threat perception report prepared by central security agencies.

Adani is not the only protectee with Z category security. And also not one with the highest level of protection.

In India, the layers of security include (in ascending order): X, Y, Y-plus, Z, Z-plus and the Special Protection Group (SPG).

The SPG, which was raised in 1985 after Indira Gandhi’s assassination, is a 3,000-strong force with a highly trained dog squad. Since the latest amendment to the Special Protection Group Act, the force is tasked with providing security only to the prime minister of the day and the immediate family members residing with him/her. The Gandhis – Sonia, Rahul and Priyanka – had been SPG protectees since Rajiv Gandhi's assassination in 1991 but in 2019, their security was downgraded to Z-plus.

Read also: What makes the SPG India's finest special protection force

The home ministry provides the security cover based on the threat perception to an individual. The level of security accorded is decided by inputs received from intelligence agencies.

In case of private individuals, the person seeking security files an application at a police station under whose jurisdiction he or she lives. The matter is then forwarded to intelligence agencies, which assess the threat perception. If the threat is confirmed, a committee, which includes the home secretary and director general of police (DGP), decides the category of security the threat calls for. Then the matter is forwarded to the Union home minister for approval.

Z-plus security

The highest level of protection (after the SPG cover), this security ring has 55 personnel, including commandos, who guard the protectee 24x7. If the need is felt based on intelligence inputs, additional protection with National Security Guard (NSG) commandos is also provided. A bulletproof vehicle and escort vehicle is included in this security cover.

In 2021, responding to questions in the Lok Sabha, the Ministry of Home Affairs said that in all 230 protectees had been provided security in the central list and 40 of these were in the Z-plus category.

Besides the Gandhis, among those who have Z-plus security are Home Minister Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, too, has Z-plus security, which he pays for. Besides paying for the security, Ambani also has to provide living quarters, kitchen and toilets to the security personnel. This security cover to him has been off and on questioned, with the matter also going to court. On June 29, the Supreme Court stayed the orders of the Tripura High Court on a public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the security cover to the Ambani family. The Tripura High Court had directed the central government to place the home ministry’s original file regarding the threat perception to the Ambanis on the grounds of which security had been granted to them. The Centre told the court that while Mukesh Ambani had been given Z-plus and Nita Ambani Y-plus security, their children (Akash, Isha and Anant) had not been granted any central security cover.

Z-category security

This comes next and comprises 22 personnel, including commandos and police personnel. A private individual can be granted Z-security after a threat assessment by intelligence agencies. The private individual pays for the security cover. In 2015, yoga guru Ramdev was, for instance, given Z-category security.

Y-plus and Y category security

This comprises eight to 11 personnel, including a couple of commandos. There are a good number of people who have been given this level of security in India. Actor Kangana Ranaut, for instance, has Y-plus category of security. And Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri, director of The Kashmir Files, has Y-category protection.

X-category security

This includes two armed police personnel and no commando. It is offered to several people across the country.


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First Published: Thu, August 18 2022. 18:40 IST

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