Friday, February 26, 2021
Home Media Brouhaha over nothing: Why security cover to Arnab is justified

Brouhaha over nothing: Why security cover to Arnab is justified

The news of Arnab Goswami, editor- in-chief of Times Now and popular anchor of the show The Newshour, getting threat based Y-security cover was received with much brouhaha on the internet; especially from the detractors of Arnab as shown in OpIndia’s article here.

One might feel the questioning to be justified. More so in this era of questioning VVIP treatment for eminent persons – a campaign Arnab himself has often spearheaded.

However, when the treatment comes on the heels of terrorism, every argument gets negated.

The Issue

Arnab Goswami’s show on Times Now has often taken a hawkish stand on Pakistan as opposed to their counterparts. For years media counterparts like NDTV and their journalists like Barkha Dutt have sung the tunes that has found resonance with the Pakistan’s establishment. So much so that Pakistan’s top terror head Hafeez Saeed had even openly endorsed her.

Following the Uri attacks by Pakistan and Surgical strikes by India in response, the nationalist stand of Arnab not only touched a chord with the audience – as reflected by the surge in his viewership – but also made him a target of the Pakistan backed groups. Arnab and his channel have exposed the atrocities in Balochistan by the Pakistani army too, making him a subject of hate.

It should be recalled that Times Now reporters have earlier been attacked in Kashmir, much before the current phase of violence erupted. Arnab is almost synonymous with Times Now, so such physical attacks on him can’t be ruled out.

On the above account, reports that Arnab has threat from Pak based terror outfits should come as no surprise.

On the particular issue of government providing security cover:

Logically speaking

Many would ask if the security cover is justified, and why Arnab himself could not pay for his own private security?

The logical explanation to that will be if a gun wielding terrorist does attack Arnab, a private security personnel with a single bore weapon would not by any means provide adequate protection. Moreover, the threat perception was as per IB inputs. It would be laughable to think  that IB could coordinate with private security over incoming intel. It’s a matter of national security and secrecy.

For this very reason, highly trained government security would be the right choice.

Legally speaking

Now those who’re still not convinced with the argument above, there’s a lesser known legal angle to this.

There exists many levels of security in our country, the highest being SPG (Special Protection Group). Along with the SPG, there are others including Z+, Z, Y etc in decreasing order of threat perception level.

While the SPG security is governed by the Special Protection Group Act, 1988, the rest of the security protocols are decided by the IB, MHA, SSC and the State gogovernments.

As can be seen in the case of Narendra Singh vs The State Of Bihar & Ors on 28 June, 2016, the court stated the following:

In contra, the counsel for the State has submitted that no person can claim as a matter of right a security cover of specified category. Such protection or security cover is provided if the SSC on appraisal of current threat perception finds the person a protected person and makes recommendation. The committee after making such recommendation reviews the cases on periodical basis to analyze the justification for continuing with the security cover provided to the protected person and/or for increase or decrease of the security cover of the protected person.

This shows Arnab didn’t “opt” for security cover, but was assigned by the Government.

The judgment further adds:

Although the protected person is an individual /citizen but the office he holds or the social or political responsibilities he discharges is a relevant consideration in grant of Security Cover to the protected person at the cost of the State.

It has to be noted that there has to be a concrete intelligence – credible and serious – input for the IB to give Arnab this security. Moreover the government is obligated to do so based on Article 21 of our constitution as quoted by the Judgment in J.Jayalalithaa vs The State Of Tamil Nadu on 9 June, 2008.

Article 21 in The Constitution Of India 1949:

Protection of life and personal liberty No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.

The court further added:

Therefore, the Security Review Committee ought to assess the grade and scale of security to be provided to a protectee considering the variable factors, as and when found necessary. The quantum and quality of security cannot remain stagnant or stale, and if they do, it cannot match the devilish designs of the disruptive forces, both from within the country and from alien shores. It is a highly disturbing trend worldwide that such evil forces are adept at using ingenious and innovative devices, to trigger large scale catastrophe and havoc, causing untold sorrow and terrible tragedies. In order to match such terrifying terrorism the nations of the world and their Governments have to upgrade their preparedness and firepower to forestall such events in future. No one can rest when such clandestine and cruel minds are at work to destroy peace, harmony and tranquility in our societies.

In tandem with the judgments and Article 21, the government is obligated to serve Arnab based on a concrete threat, and anyone is free to challenge it in court too.

On the point of paying through taxpayer’s money

There still remains the question of paying for additional security cover from the taxpayer’s money. While in earlier cases like that of Z+ security cover provided for Mukesh Ambani, Mr. Ambani paid from his pocket, it is yet to be known if Arnab does the same.

In conclusion

In the lieu of an existent threat, the security cover is justified. If the threat level rises or drops, who knows Arnab may get upgraded to Z security also or get demoted to Y category respectively as had happened in MS Dhoni’s case. Or it could be completely removed as threats are assessed and reviewed periodically on a regular basis.

(This article was written with inputs from @muglikar_ and @delhi_lawyer)

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Related Articles

Trending now

Election Commission announces schedule of assembly elections in four states and one union territory, counting on 2nd May

Dates for assembly elections in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Assam and Puducherry announced by the election commission

‘We should be outraged!’: Senator Rand Paul grills Biden’s nominee as Dr Levine refuses to condemn sex change procedure for little children

U.S. Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky grilled Dr. Rachel Levine at her confirmation hearing in the U.S. Senate.

Meet British MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi: Khalistani connections, pro-Pakistani stance on Kashmir and vocal during ‘farmer protests’

Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, or Tan Dhesi as he is addressed sometimes, is a Labour MP from Slough in the United Kingdom.

Rahul Gandhi lies about India clearing millions of dollars of Chinese FDI after a 9-month freeze: Here are the exclusive details

Rahul Gandhi shared a report that relied solely on sources, to claim that after a 9 month-long freeze, India had started clearing FDI from China

China forces US diplomats to undergo anal swab tests, Biden administration calls it undignified: Reports

The Chinese authorities later acknowledged carrying out such tests and assured that they would not be using anal swabs on American diplomats to test for COVID-19 in the future.

Watch: BJP Party President JP Nadda gives his own spin to ‘Pawry Ho Rahi Hai’ meme at West Bengal rally

BJP President JP Nadda seems to have put his own spin on the 'Pawri' meme during a rally at West Bengal ahead of 2021 Assembly elections

Recently Popular

US President Joe Biden casually drops the N-word during Munich Security Conference, accused of racism on social media

The N-word is considered as one of the hateful words that were first uttered in the 17th century. Its origin can be traced back to the Spanish word 'negro', which is often used by white supremacists to deliberately offend the African-American community.

Did Aamir Khan’s daughter Ira Khan elope with her Hindu servant? Here is the truth

The image that is being used to claim that Iran Khan has 'eloped with her Hindu servant' was originally shared by Nupur Shikare, her fitness trainer. The two were posing on the occasion of Diwali.

Govt removes safety net that allowed platforms like Twitter to not take responsibility for their misuse, officials can be penalised

If social media platforms don’t comply with the provisions of new guidelines, this will attract penal provisions under the IT Act

I worry about Yogendra Yadav’s mental health and his The Print article on the 2021 Bengal elections proves I am not wrong

As BJP rises in Bengal, a panic attack was detailed in The Print, written by our very own Icchadhari protestor, Yogendra Yadav.

‘Hindi filmmakers repeatedly insult Hindu Gods and Goddesses’: Remarks Allahabad HC rejecting bail of Amazon Prime’s Aparna Purohit in Tandav case

Aparna Purohit is accused of hurting religious sentiments through scenes mocking Hindu gods in the web series 'Tandav' on Amazon Prime

Adani Pavilion and Reliance Pavilion at Narendra Modi Stadium: All you want to know about naming stadiums and pavilions

The stadium was named after PM Modi as he was a former president of GCA, and Reliance & Adan won bids to sponsor two pavilions
- Advertisement -

 

Connect with us

253,124FansLike
520,461FollowersFollow
23,700SubscribersSubscribe