Despite the Mumbai police’s crackdown a few years ago on security guards using fake gun licenses, industry professionals opine that the crackdown was restricted to licensed security agencies and that 50% of agencies operating in the city are illegal.
“500 of the around 1000 security agencies in the city do not have valid licenses. These agencies are spared the police’s action. They hire people with fake gun licenses and do not check their criminal background,” said Gurcharan Singh, President of Security Association of India.
Industry sources said several people from Nagaland used to procure fake gun licenses and secure jobs as security guards in Mumbai. Although such persons were largely eliminated from the sphere of licensed agencies, the illegal agencies remained untouched. “Only 5% of the licensed agencies provide security guards to housing societies. So, the likelihood of fake license holders working in housing societies is very high,” said Singh.
The police say the legal procedure to procure a gun license is lengthy. “The government-prescribed salary for a security guard is Rs 7,434 per month. But if he is eligible to carry a gun, his salary instantly increases to Rs12,000 to Rs 15,000. Hence, a lot of people resort to acquiring fake licenses,” said Singh.
“We require an independent cell to check on security agencies, in terms of the backgrounds of the guards, training apparatus, wages, eligibility to carry guns. As of now, this is probably the most unorganized sector and needs to be brought under surveillance immediately since it can be extremely detrimental to the common public,” he added.