Despite the fact that the troubled times (read militancy era) in Punjab are over,several retired and serving police officers in the state continue to claim heavy security,including large number of gunmen and vehicles,claiming threat to their lives.
The recently retired Punjab DGP,PS Gill,continues to have 26 gunmen guarding him and two security vehicles attached to him. AP Pandey,another retired DGP,has 23 gunmen and a vehicle to protect him round-the-clock.
Among the serving officers,Director General (Prisons),Shashi Kant,who was recently in news for protesting withdrawal of some of his official vehicles,tops the list with 51 gunmen and eight vehicles at his disposal.
In all,74 serving police officers in the state over the rank of Deputy Inspector General are being guarded by 918 Punjab Police personnel and two sections of the CRPF (20 men),while another 232 retired police officers are being guarded by 716 state police personnel besides one section of the CRPF. The state government spends a minimum of Rs 3.26 crore per month on the security of its serving and retired police officers,according to official sources.
This does not include the security cover given to former Punjab DGP and super cop KPS Gill who enjoys protection of Z Plus Security cover and also of the gunmen attached with Senior Superintendent of Police (SSPs),Commandants,SPs and DSPs and also the men and vehicles taken by officers from the intelligence wing,PAP,crime wing,IT wing and district police.
Another retired DGP,MS Bhullar,has an MUV and 19 gunmen,while former DGP,MPS Aulakh,has 17 personnel and a Gypsy. DR Bhatti,another retired DGP has 12 personnel,a bullet proof car and Mahindra Bolero even as ex-DGP KK Attari has 15 gunmen and a Gypsy. Former police chief RS Gill has 14 personnel and a Gypsy,former DGP Chander Shekhar has 14 personnel and a vehicle,SM Sharma,former DGP,has 13 personnel and two Gypsys and an Innova (he is now member of Right to Service Commission). Former DGPs Sarabjit Singh and Lalit Bhatia have 10 personnel each. A retired DIG,HS Chahal,has 12 security personnel.
Interestingly,DS Mangat,the only DGP of the state (now retired) who was attacked by the militants has only eight gunmen.
Among the serving officers,besides Shashi Kant who has 51 security personnel,the Additional Director General of Police-cum-Chief Director Vigilance SS Saini has 50 gunmen and four vehicles,followed by DGP Punjab Armed Police (PAP) Rajan Gupta with 32 gunmen and one gypsy. He is followed by Punjab DGP Anil Kaushik with 23 gunmen and four vehicles. IPS Sahota,the IGP Lok Pal,has 23 gunmen besides a vehicle. Mohd Mustafa,Ishwar Chander and LK Yadav have 22 gunmen each besides vehicles. While ADGP Rajinder Singh and IGPs Sham lal Gakhar and Harpreet Singh Sidhu have 21 gunmen each,Parmod Bhan and RL Bhagat have 20 such security men. While many police officers have 10 to 18 gunmen with them. The least gunmen with a serving officer are with ADGP RP Singh and DIG Khubi Ram who have four personnel each.
Sources said that all the DGP,ADGP and IGP level officers have at least two official cars – a Toyota Innova or Ambassador or SX-4,- besides two to three Maruti Gypsys in the name of security cover.
An officer said,there is no policy to give security cover to the retired and serving officers,as it done on the pretext of the threat perception. Same goes for vehicles too. A proposal was made to give security cover to retired officers but it just remained on paper.
Punjab Director General of Police,Anil Kaushik said,We give security to both serving and retired personnel as per threat perception and norms which is constantly under review.
As per the norms of the state police issued in 2005,officers in rank of DIGs to ADGPs can have one official car and escort vehicle,one residential guard (five personnel) and six PSOs. At DG level,one residential guard,one escort vehicle with six personnel,an official car and a vehicle for PA and staff is allowed. The state DGP can have six vehicles.
Director General (Prisons),Shashi Kant,said,I do not know how many personnel I have. If I have excess security cover,the government can withdraw it.