Times NOW editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami received “Y category” security cover from the government after the Intelligence Bureau perceived a threat to his life from “Pakistan based terrorists groups”. The journalist will get 24-hour protection from around 20 security personnel, including two personal security officers, who will guard him from close distance.
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).
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).
“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.
Justice Markandey Katju, the retired judge of the Supreme Court known for his unsparing remarks against people or things he does not like, targeted on Arnab Goswami.
Calling Arnab a ‘joker’ he asked why should he be provided ‘Y’ category of government security.
Katju wrote on his facebook page in his usual contemptuous tone about the media celebrity ,” This joker who has nothing in his head except his arrogance will get 20 guards night and day by the Govt. for his security. Hari Om”
Why should Arnab Goswami be provided Govt. security, and that too of the Y category, which means 20 guards will be with him day and night. Who will pay the salaries of these guards ? It will be the government, which really means the public because these salaries come from the taxes we pay. So we will have to pay for Arnab’s security.
Katju said that Arnab Goswami should pay from his pocket for the security as he is getting a huge salary. He wrote –
Arnab is surely getting a huge salary from his employer. Why should he not pay for his security from his own pocket ? There are many private security agencies which provide armed guards. Why did Arnab not hire them ? Or else his employer, which is a very affluent business house, could have done so.
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.
Arnab Goswami who is known for his prime time news-hour debates, has been very vocal against terrorists organisations and Pakistan since Uri terror attacks on 18th September in which 19 army soldiers lost their lives. Goswami, who is based out of Mumbai, has not yet commented on the development. His security is likely to be looked after by the Maharashtra government.