Punjab cuts security of police top brass
Gunmen attached with chief principal secy to CM, advocate general, DGP Mohd Mustafa also cut down temporarilyUpdated: Apr 05, 2020 05:48 IST
Days after pruning the security of VIPs, the Punjab Police on Saturday cut down gunmen and other staff attached with top cops, government functionaries and Punjab and Haryana high court judges. The security personnel will now be give law and order duties during curfew imposed in Punjab following coronavirus outbreak.
Punjab was the first state to clamp curfew on March 23, a day before Prime Minister announced a 21-day nationwide lockdown to fight coronavirus. On March 31, Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh ordered to extend the curfew till April 14.
Around 400 cops deployed on different duties with top officials and functionaries have been withdrawn immediately and have been deployed at their original postings.
Those who face security cut include chief principal secretary to the CM Suresh Kumar (3 gunmen withdrawn), advocate general Atul Nanda (7), DGP human rights Mohammad Mustafa (9), special DGP (crime) Prabodh Kumar (3), chief director, vigilance and anti-corruption bureau and ADGP BK Uppal (11).
Almost the entire top brass of the police, including those in the rank of DGP, IG, DIG, whose postings do not require field visits during present conditions, have faced a cut in staff from one cop to five.
Retired DGP-rank officials, including Suresh Arora (4), Paramdeep Singh Gill (17), SK Sharma (5) and Rajinder Singh (4), are also in the list.
The orders from the headquarters say “the staff attached with the cops has been withdrawn temporarily till further orders”.
The list also included four senior judges of the Punjab and Haryana high court and some advocates working with the state government.
“After chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh himself offered the DGP to have cut in his security to put cops on duties related to curfew and food distribution for the poorest of the poor across the state, pruning of senior police officials’ staff was also necessary. If need be, more staff deployed at police headquarters will be cut,” a senior police official said.
A government spokesperson has recently said a significant number of personnel from the CM’s were withdrawn to fight the Covid-19 outbreak.
Many senior police officials are not taking their staff along with them due to the virus threat, and putting them on field duties was a good idea as they all were sitting idle, said a top official.
In the first phase on March 31, DGP Dinkar Gupta had ordered to have cut in security of district and sessions court judges, IAS officers, senior police officers, and some politicians.
The personnel deployed with the MLAs, MPs and ministers have not been touched as per the list of 162 protectees whose security was pruned. Nearly 7,000 cops are still deployed to guard VIPs and officers in Punjab out of which 3,000 have already been withdrawn in past around two weeks, an official said.
Punjab has put nearly 44,000 cops on curfew-related duties across the state.