Amid reports of threat from banned terrorist organisation, Indian Mujahideen (IM), the Centre decided that Ambani is a ‘national asset' and agreed to give the business tycoon ‘Z' security cover, under which he will be e escorted at all times by28 commandos from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).
The police say that it would cost Rs 14 lakh a month to provide Ambani the Z security. It includes salary, supervision and escort charges.
Mukesh Ambani has agreed to foot the bill after the Aam Aadmi Party and several others lashed out at the government for extending the privilege to a private person. Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde also said that Ambani would be paying for the security cover.
The Union government, meanwhile, defended its decision to offer security cover to Ambani.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said that "security is given only after a threat perception assessment."
Under the 'Z' category security, Ambani was entitled to a pilot and follow-on vehicles with commandos armed with sophisticated weapons. The proximate security is given all the time and in India.
Government sources claim that the decision to provide the high profile security cover, given only to a select few, has been taken only after considerable due diligence and threat analysis by law enforcement agencies including inputs from the Intelligence Bureau which has strongly recommended round-the-clock security cover for Ambani.
Recently, Ambani's office had informed the Mumbai Police about threat letters being issued purportedly on behalf of the home grown terror group Indian Mujahideen.
Mumbai police was also planning to fortify Ambani's sprawling residential building Antilia in south Mumbai's Altamount Road. Following the threat letter received by Ambani's office, security in and around Antilia was tightened.
The industrialist's existing security entourage isn't fully equipped to handle the current threat level. Given the serious nature of the threat, the CRPF has been assigned the task of protecting Ambani.
This furore has sparked off a debate in some circles that important business leaders should be given security, given the fact that politicians, with their poor track record are guarded round the clock. RIL contributes to almost 3 percent of the country's GDP.