Rajbir lay dead as bodyguards ate
Singh’s personal security guards were so far away from him when he was murdered they didn’t even come to know of the incident for about three hours, reports Ravi Bajpai.delhi Updated: Mar 26, 2008 02:18 IST
Z-Category security, the second best safety cover the Delhi Police can possibly provide to a person under state protection, failed to save their distinguished officer, Assistant Commissioner of Police Rajbir Singh.
Singh’s personal security guards were, in fact, so far away from him when he was murdered they didn’t even come to know of the incident for about three hours.
Singh was involved in at least 45 encounters, including those of terrorists, and had been provided the special security cover to ward off any threat on his life.
On Monday, his entire security cover was having dinner at IFFCO Chowk when he was killed. Police said Singh himself asked them to wait for him there. Two of Singh’s Personal Security Officers (PSOs), who act as a protected person’s shadow, had also left Singh— a lapse that proved deadly. “One of the PSOs, in fact, carelessly took accused Vijay Bhardwaj’s directions and left him alone with Singh,” said an officer.
Here’s what happened Singh left his house on Monday evening with his driver and two PSOs, who carry guns. As per mandate, three more officers (escorts) were trailing them in an Ambassador car. An officer said Singh asked the escorts to wait at IFFCO Chowk and took his PSOs and driver to Vijay’s office. The policemen were reportedly asked to wait outside.
At about 8.30 pm, a senior Crime Branch officer called up Singh on his two mobiles but the phones were switched off. The officer then called up the Control Room and asked the duty officer to contact Singh’s PSO.
“Subsequently one of the PSOs, who was waiting outside the office called up Vijay on his mobile and asked him to convey the message to Singh. At this point, Vijay told the PSO that Singh wanted all the three security officers to join the other policemen waiting at IFFCO chowk,” said an officer of Gurgaon police.
The unsuspecting PSO followed the direction since Vijay and Singh knew each other well. This was perhaps the biggest folly, said an officer. “Ideally, the PSO should not have left Singh alone in any circumstance but he did so since it was a usual practice,” he said.
Vijay then allegedly killed Singh in his office. The PSOs and other officers had no clue about the murder till about 11.30 pm on Monday, when the Control Room contacted them yet again.
“The senior Crime Branch officer had again called up the Control Room since Singh was still unreachable. The PSO suddenly suspected that Vijay had not conveyed the earlier message to Singh. He rushed to the spot only to find police and journalists outside the office,” said the officer.