Once renowned stars of their own sporting arena, former India hockey players Gagan Ajit Singh and Rajpal Singh will be in incharge of security at the PCA stadium here during ongoing ICC World Twenty20 as Punjab police cops. Gagan Ajit (35) is posted as Superintendent of Police (City), Mohali, while former India hockey captain Rajpal is the DSP (Traffic) of the city.
Punjab Cricket Association’s CEO Brigadier GS Sandhu (retd) says a number of former players including Pargat Singh, a former cop who later joined politics, former athlete Sunita Rani, a SP rank officer in Punjab police and few others ex-players have handled security duties in key matches at the PCA stadium here earlier.
“One after the other Arjun awardees have been performing duties at PCA stadium. Now, we have young Rajpal Singh and Gagan Ajit Singh being involved in duties during the matches here,” Sandhu said.
About his current role, Gagan Ajit told PTI, “It’s always an honour to don the uniform. First we were serving country as sportsperson, now we are serving the nation through the police force. I joined the police force in 2007. Doing duty in uniform is always a special feeling.”
Asked about challenges of his present job as a top cop during such a high-profile event where international cricket teams like India, Australia, New Zealand and Pakistan are playing, Gagan Ajin said, “We are focusing on security of players, of public, managing gates where there has to be proper checking.”
He also said that additional security will be put on place as Pakistan will be playing New Zealand here on Tuesday.
Gagan Ajit informed that there are many other sportspersons, who had joined the police department. “There are a lot of Olympians and Arjun awardees. Besides Rajpal and me, there is Baljit Dhillon, Jugraj Singh, then there is Kamalpreet, Tejbir, so we have lot of officers with sports background,” he said.
Rajpal said there is hardly any difference in duties --first as a hockey captain now as a cop as both involves serving the nation.
“I can say one thing that only the colour of uniform has changed. First we used to turn out for our country wearing blues and now we are dressed in the khakis.”
“But job remains the same, which is to serve the nation. The spirit remains the same, only field has changed.”
About the challenges in his duty, especially during a high-profile ICC event, Rajpal said, “It is an important duty. We hope things will go on smoothly.”