Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said on Tuesday that 2,040 police personnel assigned for security duties had been withdrawn from various protectees in the state in order to improve policing and traffic management in the state.
Addressing the media after having a look at 109 vehicles withdrawn from the ministers, chief parliamentary secretaries, MLAs, MPs, civil, judicial and serving and retired police officers, Badal said a broad review of security was done on his instructions and for the first time a systematic categorisation of protectees was done and norms set for providing security cover to them.
He said that after the finalisation of norms, excess security personnel and vehicles were withdrawn as he felt that it was becoming more of a 'status symbol' rather than a way to face genuine threat perception.
Terming it as an initiation of reforms in the police department, the deputy chief minister said that the number of protectees after the review had come down from 2,750 to 2,500 and that 2,040 excess security personnel were withdrawn.
The deputy chief minister said earlier over 10,000 police personnel were on security duty, which had come down to 7,900. Now, individual threat perception of 2,500-odd protectees would be studied, Sukhbir said and added he hoped that the number of protectees would further come down.
Giving details of the new norms, Badal said that no officer, howsoever high, would be provided pilot vehicle and only officers of ADGP and above rank would be given escort vehicle.
He said he personally felt that the basic job of police was policing and they should focus on that. He said that the withdrawn police personnel equaled 25 companies that Punjab used to summon at the time of any crisis.
Giving strict warning on the misuse of red beacons, Badal said clear rules were being framed for such entitlements and entitled persons would be given new stickers by June 10. After June 10, any vehicle using beacons unauthorisedly would be impounded.
Similarly, vehicles using black films on windows would also be impounded after June 10. He said that enforcement officers like SDMs and DSPs could use blue beacons on their vehicles.
Sukhbir Badal said that withdrawn vehicles and personnel would be deployed in remotest areas to improve general policing in the state.
DGP Sumedh Singh Saini and Additional DGP (intelligence and security) Hardeep Singh Dhillon were present on the occasion.