Home Ministry slashes VIP cover for Games | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Home Ministry slashes VIP cover for Games

Following an order by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), more than 300 policemen have been relieved of providing cover to VIPs and politicians, reports Vijaita Singh.

delhi Updated: Nov 05, 2009 00:22 IST
Vijaita Singh

Some politicians and persons of importance will now travel lighter.

Following an order by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), more than 300 policemen have been relieved of providing cover to VIPs and politicians.

The withdrawal of VIP cover has left the government richer by Rs 43 lakh, which were given to these policemen as salaries.

This manpower has been now been diverted for the security of Commonwealth Games to be held next year.

The ministry had reviewed the security of around 51 VIPs and 336 security personnel were relieved in October.

This included 156 personnel from Delhi Police alone-who collectively drew a salary of Rs 22 lakh.

“Following the ministry's order, we got 156 more policemen within our fold. This includes 125 constables who are foot soldiers as far as beat patrolling is concerned,” said a senior police officer on condition of anonymity. “We need a lot more people for ground intelligence.”

Police said the policemen diverted from VIP security have already been put on duty in new police stations and specialised units like the Special Staff and Anti Auto Theft Squads (AATS) in various districts.

Among those whose security was downgraded were Uttarakhand Governor Margaret Alva, former chief of National Technical Research Organisation R.S. Bedi, Delhi Police's Special Commissioner Neeraj Kumar, former Congress MP Govinda, former Delhi Chief Minister Madan Lal Khurana, Rajya Sabha MP Janardhan Dwivedi.

Apart from providing security cover, Delhi Police are also engaged in securing the routes of VIPs.

“In July this year, the MHA had completely withdrawn the security cover of over 20 VIPs. Security provided to former Home Minister Shivraj Patil, BJP MP Varun Gandhi and the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid were downgraded drastically,” said the officer.

Several Delhi Police officers posted with the elite wings like Special Cell and Crime Branch also enjoy security cover.

Following another round of review, the security cover of VK Malhotra, Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly has been restored.

Other two whose security cover was restored are AC Laxmanan, member law commission, and PC Sharma, member, National Human Rights Commission.