What is X, Y and Z security category?
In India, security is provided to high-risk individuals by the police and local government.
Depending on the threat perception to the person, the category is divided into four tiers: Z+ (highest level); Z; Y and X.
Individuals under the security blanket include Cabinet Ministers, Chief Ministers, High Court and Supreme Court Judges, leading politicians, and senior bureaucrats. Details of the categories are as follows:
Z+ category has a security cover of 36 personnel.
Z category has a security cover of 22 personnel.
Y category has a security cover of 11 personnel.
X category has a security cover of 2 personnel.
The SPG (Special Protection Group), NSG (National Security Guards), ITBP (Indo-Tibetan Border Police) and CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) are the agencies responsible for providing securities to VVIPs/VIPs/Politicians/ High-profile celebrities and sportspersons.
The NSG is used extensively to guard VIPs and VVIPs, especially those in the 'Z-plus' category. Many NSG personnel are seconded to the Special Protection Group (SPG) which guards the Prime Minister. However, the use of NSG for VIP protection has spiralled out of control recently. More than 19 persons currently enjoy NSG protection, mainly as a status symbol. The Home Minister has clamped down on this misuse and is currently phasing out the use of the NSG for VIP protection in all but the most serious cases (Z-plus category). From now on, NSG coverage will be provided based on a persons threat perception rather than status. This move has freed up a large number of operators for other missions. The NSG is also in demand as security consultants and are known to be active in the Middle East.
SPG commandos cater to the PM, former PMs and their immediate family members as part of the z+ category of security cover.
The 'z' category, in turn, entails security cover by the Delhi police or the ITBF or CRPF personnel and one escort car. The 'y' category encompasses two personal security officers (PSOs) and the 'x' category, one PSOs.