Beware. How reliable is your building’s security guard? | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Beware. How reliable is your building’s security guard?

Only 5% of legal security agencies provide guards to housing societies.

mumbai Updated: Aug 11, 2012 01:53 IST
Puja Changoiwala

Hiring security guards for your housing society does not necessarily mean you are safe. The police on Friday arrested one of the 21 watchmen appointed by Bhakti Park, Wadala, through a security agency for the murder of 25-year-old lawyer, Pallavi Purkha-yastha, in her flat.

The accused, Sajjad Moghul, stabbed Purkhayastha several times and slit her throat when she fought him after he sneaked into her house while she was asleep and tried to rape her. The police said the murder was “an act of perversion of the highest order”.

Industry professionals say citizens must be careful and alert when they appoint guards, and do their on background checks as only 50% of the 1,000 security agencies that operate in Mumbai have valid licence.

Only 5% of the 500 licensed agencies provide guards to housing societies. “Societies prefer to pay low salaries, despite the government-prescribed wage of Rs 7,434 a month for guards,” said Gurcharan Singh, president of Security Association of India, which has 135 members, 50 of which are based in Mumbai. “Societies usually hire guards from illegal agencies, thereby compromising their security.”

Following the murder, the police have decided to crack down on unlicenced agencies in the city.