Now, Punjab police say won’t cut VIP security in haste | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Now, Punjab police say won’t cut VIP security in haste

After the flip-flop over review of security cover to VIPs, the Punjab Police on Thursday clarified that any cut in the security will not be done in haste.

punjab Updated: Mar 31, 2017 09:31 IST
Ravinder Vasudeva
Senior police officials in the police headquarters here said the March 21 order of pruning the security of many VIPs, including senior SAD-BJP leaders, with immediate effect was issued in “haste” and out of “overenthusiasm”.
Senior police officials in the police headquarters here said the March 21 order of pruning the security of many VIPs, including senior SAD-BJP leaders, with immediate effect was issued in “haste” and out of “overenthusiasm”.(HT Representative Image)

After the flip-flop over review of security cover to VIPs, the Punjab Police on Thursday clarified that any cut in the security will not be done in haste.

Senior police officials in the police headquarters here said the March 21 order of pruning the security of many VIPs, including senior SAD-BJP leaders, with immediate effect was issued in “haste” and out of “overenthusiasm”.

“Police department received a letter regarding the security review from the government and the pruning was ordered by the said officer without studying the perception of threat to each individual concerned. Even the field officers were sent the list of VIPs whose security was to be pruned,” sources said.

As the “unrealistic” orders created a confusion and the matter reached the high-ups, it was decided on March 24 to keep these orders in abeyance and a committee headed by DGP (law and order) Hardeep Dhillon was formed to review the threat perception to the VIPs concerned before ordering the cut.

“Dhillon-led committee will make recommendations after going through the reports of various intelligence wings of the police and other factors. There was no question of stopping the review,” Punjab DGP Suresh Arora told Hindustan Times.

On Wednesday, after getting reports from the Dhillon-led committee, security of many low-profile VIPs and those officials who enjoyed the trust of the previous SAD-BJP government, was pruned. More than 175 cops were ordered to join their original battalions with immediate effect.

Interestingly, it’s the Congress leaders who are feeling the pinch of this review exercise. Many party leaders can be seen speaking openly against the move. “In the March 21 list, an MP was left with four cops. Keeping in view the 8-hour duty, only one cop will be with the MP most of the time. Can a single constable guard an MP and his family?” said a Rajya Sabha member from the state. Sources said the SSPs and the police commissioners have even received requests from districtlevel Congress leaders for security.

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SIMILAR MOVES FAILED IN PAST

It’s not for the first time that the security of VIPs was pruned in Punjab. In 2012 and 2014 as well, such exercises were carried out and many VIPs lost the security cover. However, both the times, they managed to get back the cover on some pretext. As per officials, in last six months of the previous government, security of the SAD-BJP leaders was heightened just to give them the “feel of power”.