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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

Common man’s security continues to suffer

HT correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 16, 2013
First Published: 00:29 IST(16/2/2013) | Last Updated: 00:35 IST(16/2/2013)

The Central government’s promise to review VIP security immediately after the December 16 gangrape incident is yet to take form.

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The demand to divert police staff from the VIP security duty and deploy it for the security of common man was raised after the horrific incident, but nothing has changed on ground.

According to an estimate, 7,315 policemen are deployed to protect 416 VIPs.

In stark contrast, only one policeman is available to protect 500 Delhi residents.

What is even more shocking is that more than half of the 83,762 police personnel for 1.67 crore Delhiites are engaged in jobs other than policing.

The cops do odd jobs such as assisting civic agencies in rounding up stray cattle, verify domestic workers as well as passport applicants and provide security at VIP weddings and social functions.

It was only after the gang rape that 5 per cent of the non-field staff was diverted for patrolling. But that number is very meagre and just not enough.

“It is not like we have taken out staff from patrolling duty to protect VIPs. We have a security cell and the staff is recruited for that purpose only.

"If government can deploy another force for the security of the VIPs, we can use these staff for the common man,” said a senior police officer, on the condition of anonymity.

Officials said it was difficult to perform all the enlisted duties considering the existing strength. They admitted there had been instances of staff crunch when big crimes took place.

The Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) has pointed out that law and order should be segregated from investigation.

Senior police officials also feel there should be a separate wing to assist civic agencies in their demolition tasks.

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