Amidst a slew of orders providing central security protection to West Bengal political leaders — many of whom have crossed over from the TMC to the BJP — the Ministry of Home Affairs has said that there are “230 protectees being provided security in the central list with 40 of these are in the Z+ category”.
The questions were asked in the Lok Sabha by Trinamool Congress MP Mala Roy, Congress MP Jasbir Singh Gill and DMK’s A Ganeshmurti.
The Ministry of Home Affairs, however, refused to share state-wise data about the protectees or the expenditure incurred.
“Police and public order being State subject under the Constitution of India, the responsibility for providing security to an individual lies primarily with the State government concerned. List of State government protectees is not maintained centrally,” the Minister of State for Home Affairs, G Kishan Reddy, said in response to Mala Roy’s question on details of ‘The total number of Z, Z plus, Y and Y plus protectees in the country, category and state wise’.
On the question of expenditure incurred, Reddy said, “The expenditure incurred on providing security to these protectees can not be estimated as different State governments/Union Territory Administration and various agencies are involved in making security arrangements for them.”
The MHA also clarified that no private individual owes any money to the central paramilitary forces who provide the security. “Generally the expenditure on security to individual is borne by the government,” Reddy said.
Some of the high profile names who have been provided the central protection in recent times include actor Kangana Ranaut, Mamata Banerjee’s protégée turned challenger Shubhendu Adhikari, former TMC leader Rajeev Banerjee, etc.
Ranaut was given Y+ category security which entails 11 CRPF personnel protecting her. Adhikari was given Z category CRPF cover in Bengal and Y+ category CRPF cover for the rest of India, days before he crossed over from the TMC to the BJP. Former TMC MLA Rajeev Banerjee was also given Z category protection for Bengal and Y+ for the rest of India after he joined BJP. Kailash Vijayvargia, BJP in charge for Bengal polls, was also given Z category central protection along with a bullet proof vehicle after BJP leaders came under attack during party President J P Nadda’s visit to Diamond Harbour, West Bengal.
Z+ security by the central paramilitary usually means bullet proof vehicle and round the clock protection by at least 36 personnel. Z category means 22 personnel, Y+ gets 11, Y gets 2 personal security officers and X gets one PSO. Category of security is decided after an assessment of the threat perception.