The Delhi Police have started an exercise to rightsize the security cover of over 70 VIPs in the capital. Over 100 security personnel have been repatriated to the overburdened police.
Following a debate after the Mumbai attacks on whether VIPs enjoy security at the cost of the common man, Hindustan Times had reported last Thursday that 45,846 policemen are deployed across the country to protect 13,319 VIPs.
In absolute numbers and as a proportion of their strength, the Delhi Police deploy more men than all other states for security duty. About 15,000 Delhi Police personnel — out of a total strength of 60,000 — are on VIP duty. There are about 400 VIPs in the capital.
But the VIPs — politicians, bureaucrats, judges, religious leaders and lawyers — who have managed to secure more police protection than their respective entitlement are now being cut down to size.
“It has been made clear to all VIPs that no matter what they say or feel, none would be allowed to have security in excess of the rules,” a Home Ministry official said on condition of anonymity.
The Delhi Police’s list of people who have a security cover in excess of their entitlement includes Union ministers Prithviraj Chauhan, A.R. Antulay, Mani Shanker Aiyar, Ambika Soni, Oscar Fernandes and Kapil Sibal, leaders such as Rajiv Shukla, Arun Jaitley and Digvijay Singh, and former bureaucrat Brajesh Mishra.
“We are tired of receiving calls from various quarters, giving absurd reasons why these people needed to hold on to their excess security staff, which was in clear violation of all rules and regulations,” the official said. “We haven’t downgraded the security of any VIP. We’re only withdrawing the excess staff.”