Giving a push to its policy of curbing misuse and providing personal security on payment, the Punjab police have put some leading businessmen and private institute owners on notice, asking them to immediately make payments till December 2014 for the cover given to them, it is learnt.
As per conservative calculations of the police department, the state government pays about Rs. 25 crore as monthly salary of the cops who have been attached with private businessmen, other civilians, politicians, police officers and bureaucrats as personal security officers. Officials admit that, in a large number of cases, the provision of security at the cost of taxpayers is misused on the pretext of threat to life.
A senior government functionary, on the condition of anonymity, told HT, “The state cabinet had last year cleared the policy of providing security on payment basis to certain individuals. Under this policy, we have asked some people to make payments till December 2014.”
In a recent communication, the police department has, for instance, asked Rajinder Singh Chadha, brother of slain liquor baron Gurdeep Singh (Ponty) Chadha, to pay about Rs. 40 lakh for security cover of four Punjab police personnel. AS Mittal, vice-chairman of the Sonalika Group of Companies, has been asked to pay about Rs. 17 lakh, while the police protection bill of Lakhvir Singh Gill, who runs North West Colleges of Engineering and Technology at Moga, is over Rs. 10 lakh, and that of businessman Satinder Singh is about Rs. 18 lakh, according to sources. There are nearly a dozen such businessmen from whom the police department has decided to charge security fee, and the payment sought includes full monthly take-home salary of the cops, plus Rs. 12,000 per cop as facilitation charge.
Already, about 12 businessmen, having about two dozen cops attached with them, such as Rajinder Gupta, chairman of the Trident Group, and Kamal Oswal of Nahar Group of Industries, have been footing the cost of their Punjab police security cover much before the policy for payment was cleared.