Gupta brothers have been provided ‘Z’ category security by the Uttarakhand government. The brothers Ajay, Rajesh and Atul, all in their 40s, are under investigation for their close connection with Jacob Zuma. Zuma resigned as the President of South Africa on February 15 over corruption scandals. The Gupta brothers had shifted to South Africa from UP’s Saharanpur in 1993. They own a property in Dehradun, including a palatial house in the city’s Curzon Road locality. All the three were given ‘Y’ category security by the Congress government, however, last yeat BJP regime upgraded it.
Anand Bardhan, Principal Secretary (Home) in an interview with The Sunday Express said that the Gupta brothers were being provided with ‘Y’ security for quite a few years but after analysis and review by the state government, the security was upgraded in June-July 2017.
Bardhan added that out of the three, Ajay and Atul are currently given ‘Z’ category security and they pay for it. Under the ‘Z’ category, Ajay and Atul have four house guards and two personal security officers (PSOs). There were rumours that Ajay, who has an arrest warrant issued against him in South Africa is believed to have left the country in February first week and was in Dehradun at the time when Zuma resigned from his post. However, Dehradun Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Nivedita Kukreti said that “the Guptas had earlier applied for security between February 16 and 18, but we recently received a letter from them asking us to cancel the request.”
Kukreti added that the police were unaware of anyone from Gupta’s family living at the Dehradun house. Meanwhile, Bardhan explained how they got ‘Z’ category security meant for top-flight VVIPs in India and revealed that they had written to the Uttarakhand government asking for it.
Ajay, Atul and Rajesh Gupta are accused of using their friendship with the former South African president to influence policy and amass wealth. The Gupta properties there have also been raided as part of the investigations. In October last year, the FBI opened an investigation into US links to the Guptas too.