Gunmen with senior cops: Purge beginshttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/gunmen-with-senior-cops-purge-begins/

Gunmen with senior cops: Purge begins

Two days after Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal suspended Inspector General of Police (IGP) Satish Kumar Asthana for keeping 31 gunmen as “personal servants”,the Punjab Police has launched a major “cleaning up” drive.

Two days after Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal suspended Inspector General of Police (IGP) Satish Kumar Asthana for keeping 31 gunmen as “personal servants”,the Punjab Police has launched a major “cleaning up” drive.

All the senior police officers have been told to furnish certificates by October 23 stating the number of gunmen who are attached with them and whether they have been assigned as per the norms.

While Sukhbir,who is also the home minister,took the action after some of the aggrieved policemen moved the High Court,Director General of Police SS Saini issued a directive to the security wing of the state police to get a list of manpower attached with the officers.

“In Sunday,the security wing shot off letters to all the officers in the rank of Superintendent of Police to the DGP to submit details of the manpower attached with them latest by October 23,” a senior officer said.

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Sources said that the officers on Monday remained busy going through the rules and norms on the prescribed limit of the manpower that they can have. As per the rules,the DGP and ADGP rank officers can have 16 gunmen besides a residential guard,while IGPs can get 11 gunmen. The DIG can have six gunmen attached to him while SPs can get three gunmen. However,IGP (zone),Police Commissioners,DIG (Range) and SSPs,being the field officers,are entitled to escort vehicles and thus have more manpower than their counterparts posted in the police headquarters.

Sources said that many officers were seen shunting out the extra men attached with them. Earlier,based on the Deputy CM’s order,nearly 3,100 personnel and more than 170 escort vehicles with politicians,bureaucrats and police officers were withdrawn.

At present 15 per cent personnel or 9,000 of the total force of 72,000,are on security duties with the ‘VVIPs’. Many political leaders,including ministers,and senior police officers have up to 50 gunmen attached with them,sources said.

A senior police functionary said,“The policemen withdrawn from security duty can be deployed to man law and order,traffic,investigation and other duties.”