As part of 'rationalisation' of security cover provided to VVIPs and others, the city police have withdrawn four of the five cops stationed at the house of Puducherry lieutenant governor Iqbal Singh. Singh visits the city usually once a month.
The state police headquarter had recently directed the city police to review the security cover provided to VIPs. Following the order, six cops have been withdrawn from the security of three 'VIPs', including Iqbal Singh.
When contacted, ADCP (headquarter), Navjot Mahal confirmed the move. "Since the lieutenant governor comes to his home for a very short period in a month, the extra security cover provided on a permanent basis is withdrawn. Whenever Singh will be in the city, protocol will be followed and adequate security cover would be provided," Mahal added.
Mahal denied that undeserving people had been provided with security by the city police. "The city police has not provided any cop as personal security to any unauthorised individual."
It is learnt that the Punjab Armed Police (PAP) department has also provided cops for personal security of various so called 'VIPs' including small-time politicians, businessmen and scribes.
ADGP in the PAP, Gurdev Singh Sahota admitted that cops have been given to some VIPs on valid recommendation, but admitted that the process was under review.
"I cannot reveal the names of those who have been provided security by the PAP," he added.
Meanwhile, a senior police official on the condition of anonymity claimed that that there was misuse of the security cover provided to police officials, with many of them deploying their guards to please their visiting 'NRI friends', who take it as status symbol.
In lieu of the deploying cops on NRIs' security, police officials enjoy 'hospitality' of their NRI friends, during foreign trips, sources said.
The Punjab Home Department has undertaken another security cover review of the protection given to VVIPs and VIPs within and outside the state, following directions from the Supreme Court.
The exercise will be completed within next few days, sources said adding that the case will come up for hearing before the SC on March 14.
On February 15, the Supreme Court asked the Centre, all states and union territories to furnish details of expenses incurred on providing security to various categories of people, including people with criminal background and kith and kin of VVIPs.
In the first exercise in May 2012, more than 700 cops were pulled out from security duties as per the information provided by the state government to the apex court.
The home department is also reviewing the threat perception to each individual and other reasons for giving them security cover to ensure that its stand before the SC stands scrutiny.