In a bid to ensure the requisite number of policemen for the polls,the state government has now decided to deploy for election duty,various personnel attached with police officers including orderlies,telephone operators,and those on daily dark dispatch apart from withdrawing half of the police personnel providing security for VIPs.
Sources said there are around 1,000 police personnel who are deployed as orderlies,telephone operators,those on daily dark dispatch,readers,naib readers,typist in the personnel staff of each officer,will be taken out for election duty. The sources added that some officers had sent in requests to leave some of the orderlies out but the state government has declined to entertain them.
Around 9,000 police personnel in the state provide security cover to VIPs including politicians,judicial officers,civil officers and 4,500 of them will be withdrawn for poll duty. The decision has reportedly forced retired officers to make frantic calls urging the state government to not withdraw their gunmen.
Sources said the intelligence department is likely to review the threat perception to VIPs and if anyone has more gunmen than their sanctioned strength or the threat has decreased,then the additional security personnel could be withdrawn from the protectee.
Around 60 per cent of the total 72,000 state police force will be put on election duty,so we will need this much of force. This has been worked out after assessing the ground situation, said a senior police officer.
The state government has zeroed in on the figure following an assessment conducted by the Punjab Police. In the 2007 Assembly elections,the state government had received around 200 companies of paramilitary forces from the Centre. In the 2009 Lok Sabha polls,it had got 198 companies,besides the state police force. This time,the state is again expected to receive 200 companies of the para military forces.
The chief ministers security wing on the other hand has written to the Punjab chief electoral officer stating that the cavalcade of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal will consist of ten vehicles besides a district pilot vehicle,ambulance and fire brigade and that of Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal will possess nine vehicles besides these vehicles. This is due to the fact that the threat perception to them is very high,sources said.