The home ministry will reconsider its decision to replace the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) with private security guards to protect the sensitive CGO complex near Lodhi Road after complaints that neither the Delhi Police nor private agencies can adequately guard the complex that faces terror threats.
A government source told HT that home secretary Anil Goswami was in the process of taking a final decision. “It is a tough call to take... to completely reverse a decision within a fortnight,” the source said.
As the first step, the home ministry ordered the Delhi Police to immediately increase its presence at the complex from about half-a-dozen to about 16 personnel.
But this compares poorly with the 70-80 personnel the CISF had deployed on access control, perimeter security and patrolling of the complex. Besides, it is not clear if the Delhi Police have taken upon themselves the task of providing access control.
The relook came after security agencies conveyed concerns of the vulnerability of the office complex after the CISF’s removal. Government sources said the original plan envisaged deploying private security personnel.
“We want the office complex to be secure... It does not matter who provides the guards for the purpose,” a government official in the environment ministry said. But he wondered if the Delhi Police would be able to match the CISF in terms of manpower, training and resources that would be needed at the complex.
“Most of the Delhi Police personnel deployed this evening are unarmed,” he complained.
The Delhi Police had been reluctant to take on the additional security responsibility. But it may not have much of an option if the home ministry puts its foot down. If that happens, the force would take more personnel off the streets to stand guard at the complex.