CHANDIGARH: The Capt Amarinder Singh led Congress government in Punjab has cut down VIP security in the State by a whopping 2,000 men to create the necessary infrastructure for better policing, by diverting precious resources and to ensure law and order in the State.
The move followed a security review meeting chaired by the chief minister and was attended by chief principal secretary Suresh Kumar, DGP Suresh Arora and ADGP (Intelligence) Dinkar Gupta here on Friday.
The withdrawal announced after the meeting includes the chief minister’s security, which has been cut down from 1,392 to 1,016. In addition, around 1,500-odd security personnel have been withdrawn from other categories of constitutional and government functionaries.
Amarinder Singh has already ordered an end to all deployment on his travel routes. The chief minister’s security is likely to be cut down further after the next review, based on fresh reports on threat perception.
The chief minister had made it clear that he does not want any security beyond the bare necessity.
At Friday’s meeting, Amarinder Singh also directed the police and other agencies to review the existing Security Policy, which was approved by the Punjab cabinet and subsequently notified by the Department of Home Affairs and Justice, in 2013.
Capt Amarinder asked the agencies to submit their report after completion of the review.
He underlined the need to provide only need-based security, taking the latest perception of threats into account, for any individual.
Given that the existing security policy was three years old, he directed the police to call for fresh reports from the State and Central agencies to map the prevailing threats and decide on the quantum of security accordingly.
This was the second security review meeting of the Capt Amarinder government since it took charge of the State.
During the last security review carried out in March by a committee headed by DGP Law & Order, Punjab, 749 police and paramilitary personnel were withdrawn from various categories of protectees.
Addressing the meeting, Amarinder further pointed out that the prevailing security environment - a key criterion in determining threats to any individual – had also undergone significant changes in the past three years, requiring it to be revisited by the concerned agencies.
The meeting took note of the guidelines of the ministry of home affairs, prescribing regular security reviews on the basis of available threat inputs in order to increase or decrease security deployment.
These guidelines clearly state that the tendency to continue with the security arrangements even in the absence of a real threat should be avoided.
Accordingly, the security wing has sought fresh Threat Perception Reports (TPRs) from the intelligence wing, and field units with regard to certain protectees, the meeting was informed.
It was decided that as soon as the fresh TPRs become available, another security review will be carried out to complete the exercise.
It may be noted that the Congress manifesto for the Punjab assembly elections had also clearly stated that the unhealthy trend of using police by politicians and bureaucrats as personal security will be strongly discouraged.
Amarinder has repeatedly reiterated his commitment to police reforms, including putting an end to political misuse of the force.