No plans to raise new security agency for VIPs: governmentFebruary 24th, 2009 - 6:41 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Feb 24 (IANS) More than 600 commandos from the elite National Security Guard (NSG) have been drafted to protect 20 VIPs in the country, and the government has no proposal to raise a separate security agency for the purpose, parliament was informed Tuesday.
Replying to a question in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Home Sri Prakash Jaiswal also pointed out that it was difficult to calculate costs of providing protection.
“The NSG only provides mobile security cover. The total expenditure incurred in this is difficult to estimate as the concerned state governments provide the vehicles, accommodation, fuel and logistics for this prupose,” said Jaiswal.
“There is no proposal to raise a separate security agency for providing security cover to VIPs and other officials presently.”
Some of the VIPs given NSG cover include Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, National Conference patron Farooq Abdullah and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav,
Two months back, NSG chief J.K. Dutt had mentioned that all VIP protection duties should be entrusted to a new agency that should develop special expertise for the job.
“VIP protection duties should be handed over to a unified agency or a new agency can be created on a par with the Central Industrial Security Force (constituted for the protection of public sector units and installations),” he said.
The NSG, which was set up in 1984 for anti-hijack and anti-terror operations, has two wings - the Special Action Group (SAG) and the Special Rangers Group (SRG), comprising select men from the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Central Industrial Security Force, Central Reserve Police Force and other paramilitary forces.
More than half of SRG personnel are deployed for VIP security.
According to the home ministry, there are around 400 guarded VIPs in the national capital alone. Around 15,000 Delhi Police personnel, of its strength of 60,000, guard VIPs who include ministers, politicians, bureaucrats, judges, religious leaders, lawyers and a few journalists.
According to estimates worked out by security agenices, approximately Rs.6 billion of taxpayers’ money is spent annually on the salaries of the security staff involved in such duties.
At the top of the heap are the VVIPs who merit a Z-plus ranking, which comes complete with customised Black Cats. Z-plus is followed, in descending order of importance, by Z, Y and X, with a corresponding scaling down of security cover in each instance.