A small contingent of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) returned to secure the CGO complex on Wednesday after the home ministry reversed its decision to replace the force with private security guards.
The decision was reversed at the instance of Home Secretary Anil Goswami, who asked the CISF to send a formal proposal for full-fledged deployment of its personnel to guard the high-security zone. The proposal would be cleared by the ministry in a few days, sources said.
The CISF was late last night directed to place a platoon-level force (30 personnel headed by a sub-inspector) at the disposal of Delhi Police to secure the office complex. It has been told to move another proposal seeking sanction of additional manpower for the CGO complex.
Goswami’s intervention follows several reports in HT highlighting how the home ministry’s decision had turned the high-security zone into a sitting duck.
The ministry had ordered the CISF to back out without making alternative arrangements, risking the lives of thousands of government officials and many installations in the complex.
The CISF had been carrying out access control and perimeter security duties on an informal basis after a grenade was hurled at the BSF headquarters more than a decade ago. The present security crisis was triggered when the CISF had moved a proposal to seek regularisation of this deployment.
Home ministry officials rejected this proposal and decided to bring in private security guards. But in its hurry to eject the CISF, the ministry did not even wait for the private guards to be hired.
A senior home ministry official conceded that this decision was blatantly wrong, particularly given the security scenario and the sensitive nature of the offices. “I don’t know who came up with a plan for private guards for such a sensitive complex,” the official said.