Arnab Goswami, the editor-in-chief of news channel Times Now, will be provided ‘Y’ category security cover by the government over a threat from “Pakistan-based terrorist groups”.
Under the ‘Y’ category cover, Goswami will get round-the-clock protection from around 20 guards, including two personal security officers for close proximity security.
Goswami was not available for comment despite phone calls and messages from HT.
There are two types of protection provided by the government — positional and threat-based.
Under positional security, a dignitary is given security cover on the basis of position he or she holds — such as cabinet ministers and Supreme Court judges.
In the second category, a person is provided on the basis of a threat-perception analysis by the Intelligence Bureau (IB).
“Goswami is being given security on the basis of a threat-perception analysis by the IB. We will go by the IB recommendation. He faces threats from Pakistan-based terrorist groups due to his comments against them on Times Now,” said a home ministry official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.
The home ministry is likely to ask the Maharashtra police to handle Goswami’s security as he is based in Mumbai.
The government provides security under four categories — ‘Z Plus’ (around 40 guards with two escort vehicles), ‘Z’ (around 30 guards with one escort vehicle), ‘Y’ (around 20 guards) and ‘X’ (four guards).
The Centre has around 450 protectees under these categories. Out of them, around 275 people have been provided threat-based security cover. The state governments also have their own list of protectees.
Goswami is not the first journalist to get security cover from the Centre. Before him, journalists such as Zee News’s Sudhir Chaudhary (’X’ category), Samachar Plus’s Umesh Kumar (’Y’ category) and Ashwini Kumar Chopra (’Z Plus’ category) have been provided security by the government.
Chopra, who runs Hindi daily Punjab Kesari in Delhi and is a BJP Lok Sabha member, the security cover was provided around three decades ago following the killings of his father and grandfather by militants in Punjab.