Former Congress MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira on Tuesday lambasted the Akali-BJP government for its "lopsided, irrational and full of favouritism" policy on providing security to public functionaries and private individuals.
Khaira alleged that the affidavit filed by the Punjab government in the Supreme Court on March 25 regarding security cover provided by the state police to politicians and private individuals was grossly erroneous and misleading.
Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, Khaira said though the state police had claimed in the affidavit that 1,294 protectees were allocated 4,120 security personnel at a monthly cost of Rs 15.69 crore, the fact was that many more people close to the government circles and cops were provided security personnel unofficially.
In the affidavit, the state police admits that there are only 1,820 police personnel deployed for the traffic wing, while an alarming 5,000 citizens die due to road accidents in Punjab every year, said Khaira.
The former MLA stated that as per the affidavit, the allocation of security indicated gross misuse of authority by chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, deputy CM Sukhbir Badal, director general of police (DGP) Sumedh Singh Saini and other influential persons.
Khaira said, "It is astonishing to note that only one security person each is provided to Punjab and Haryana high court judges, besides additional sessions judges, chief judicial magistrates and their subordinates working in the field to implement the rule of law. On the other hand, those convicted for crimes, such as MLA Bibi Jagir Kaur, enjoy Y-category security with 11 policemen and an escort vehicle and the same goes for another convicted Akali MLA, Tota Singh. It appears that convicts need more security than custodians of the law. This shows the faulty threat assessment mechanism adopted by the state government."
Quoting the affidavit, Khaira said Jagir Kaur's son-in-law Yuvraj Bhupinder Singh had two policemen to guard him; ex-MLA and former assembly speaker Nirmal Singh Kahlon and his son Ravi Kahlon had been provided 14 policemen and escort vehicles; former MLAs Sucha Singh Langah and Ranjit Singh Brahmpura were given 11 and 10 policemen with escort vehicles, respectively; Rajya Sabha MP Balwinder Singh Bhunder and his son Dilraj Singh had 16 policemen with escort vehicles; and former MLA Gurdev Singh Badal, whose term ended in 2002, enjoyed a security cover of 10 policemen.
Punjab Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa had recently taken a dig at the CM, deputy CM and revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia for having a large number of security personnel protecting them, even as the common man was living under fear due to the "poor law and order situation".