Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s insistence on moving around like the aam aadmi — without a security contingent or special traffic arrangements — may sound refreshingly different, but is compromising the security of local residents.
Since Arvind Kejriwal has shunned procedures the Delhi Police has employed to keep past CMs secure and even refuses to give the police prior details of his movements, the police have to scramble to arrange security whenever they are informed he is present in a particular area.
When that happens, the entire local staff of the police station area he is in is withdrawn from regular duty and deputed for his security.
Most staff at the capital’s police stations are already bogged down by their daily work —registering cases and beat patrolling.
“On any given day, since Kejriwal became CM-designate, we have no clue about where he is or where he plans to go. He just doesn’t divulge any information and keeps us guessing,” said a police officer. “Since he doesn’t have adequate mobile security in the form of pilot and escort vehicles and personal security, it leaves us no other option than to divert the entire field staff of a particular area for him as and when we receive information about his movement,” the officer added.
For instance, on the day of his swearing-in on December 28, police sources said that the entire beat staff of a particular police station in New Delhi was pulled from regular duty to ensure the CM’s security as he proceeded through the area. This meant the area was bereft of police deployment for several hours. A few hours later, the police went into a tizzy after a hoax caller declared that he would assassinate the new CM, said the sources.
“Every division of the force has a particular job to do – including the beat staff. But just as we can’t divert our battalions or specialised departments like the special cell and the crime branch to keep a track of VIP movement, there’s no one else who suffers except the local policeman,” another officer added.