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From politicos to gangsters’ kin, Delhi Police provide security to 468 people

The Delhi police have deployed nearly 1,500 personnel to guard hundreds of people, from

delhi Updated: Oct 30, 2016 09:07 IST
Jeevan Prakash Sharma
Jeevan Prakash Sharma
Hindustan Times
Delhi Police,VIP security,Personal Security Officers
Nearly 1,500 Delhi Police personnel are deployed to provide security to 468 people, according to a RTI application. (HT File Photo )

The city police have deployed nearly 1,500 personnel to guard hundreds of people, from politicians to even widows of gangsters, officials said, but 10% of them don’t face any threat and allegedly avail the security cover as a status symbol.

An HT application under the RTI Act revealed that 468 VIPs have availed 1,446 personal security officers (PSOs) under different categories – X,Y, Z and Z+. The number doesn’t include armed guards which come with only Z and Z+ security. The number of PSOs is 20% more than last year’s figure.

While VIPs and other people in top government positions get PSOs from Delhi Police’s security branch on the recommendation of the home ministry, 146 individuals fall in another category protected by the local police. Several people in this category have availed PSOs citing threat from property disputes or gang wars they are caught in.

In outer Delhi, the majority of PSOs have been given to female family members of gangsters killed by rivals, said police officials who spoke to HT on the condition of anonymity.

Dealing with demands for PSOs is tricky, officials said, as people allegedly stage-manage the threat to them and avail the security cover, as much a status symbol for many in the country as the red beacon on official vehicles. “80% security is positional. Cabinet ministers, judges, Delhi’s CM, etc, get security due to their position. The remaining are not entitled to any security,” said another senior police officer.

“Out of these 20%, only 10% genuinely need it. The other 10% have availed it either due to political reasons or by making bogus claims of threat on their lives.”

Sources cited the case of right-wing Hindu leader Swami Chakrapani, who bought underworld don Dawood Ibrahim’s car at an auction in Mumbai on December 9, 2014, and a fortnight later publically burnt it in Ghaziabad to condemn terror. Seven months later, he alleged threat from another crime lord, Chhota Shakeel, and got himself Z category security by Delhi Police on the recommendation of the home ministry.

Senior leaders of the Hindu Mahasabha even wrote to the prime minister alleging that Chakrapani’s car-burning act was to get security to intimidate others and carry on his land grabbing activities. Chakrapani refutes the charge.

“There is trend to do something against terror outfits or make anti-Pakistan statement and then ask for security,” said a senior officer in the security branch.

The Delhi Police reply also revealed that 82 people have been availing government security for the past 10 years.

Police officials said that removing security is more challenging. “The moment we proceed to remove the cover, the person uses all means such as his political connections, fake claims of fresh threats from terrorists etc., to make a strong case in his favour,” said one of the officers.

While X category security gets two PSOs, Y category gets three. The rest two categories, Z and Z+, gets PSOs, armed guards along with other facilities. “Around 20 people have Z and Z+ security,” said an officer.

First Published: Oct 30, 2016 00:46 IST