Security Cover Should Be Removed From All VIPS
I don’t favour security cover for VIPs except for those facing serious threats on their lives. The threat perception must be examined by a panel of eminent people and experts in security arena from time to time. I fail to understand when government can order withdrawal of security cover of former army chief Gen VK Singh, who faces threats from various terror groups, including the ISI and others, then why the same rule can’t apply to all others who don’t face the same threat. But they continue to enjoy huge security cover at the expense of state exchequer?
This is the right time to withdraw security cover enjoyed by all the VIPs, which is an unnecessary burden on state exchequer. Let us be very clear, the security and well being of people is more important than the VIPs in whose name and for whose cause they are elected! The government must at least now wake up, especially after the brutal gang-rape incident, which jolted the inner conscience of the entire nation. No longer can this be postponed nor is it in the national interest.
The government must give a serious food of thought to this, because ultimately the security provided to the VIPs and the VVIPs is at the expense of the common man, who has to live and survive always without any kind of security. The whole nation was a testimony to the brutal gang-rape in Delhi which shocked the entire country and certainly a major portion of the blame can be assigned to the lack of security personnel deployed for the welfare of common man.
Recently, in an article appeared in The Times of India, dated January 18, 2013, says, “The Supreme Court could barely contain its exasperation and amusement when Delhi Police blandly submitted that security cover provided to top dignitaries was intended to help them take ‘bold and impartial’ decisions.” Responding to the assertion, a bench of Justices GS Singhvi and HL Gokhale, while examining the necessity of security cover to dignitaries, politicians and officials, asked the Delhi Police counsel to explain how a sentry at the gate helped protect person take “bold and impartial” decisions.
The affidavit as mentioned in the same newspaper was filed by Mangesh Kashyap, a deputy commissioner of police, said, “Certain categories of individuals, mainly from the higher echelons of government, needed to be provided basic minimum security arrangements, that is positional/statutory security cover, not on account of their status or specific threat, but to facilitate bold and impartial decision making”. These dignitaries, according to Delhi Police, include Union ministers, lieutenant governor, chief minister, cabinet ministers, Chief Justice of India, judges of Supreme Court and Delhi High Court besides some bureaucrats. The bench which had seen the post of judges of Supreme Court and High Court included in the list of dignitaries asked, “How do our judgments become bold and impartial by the presence of a sentry at the gate? Is this the level of understanding expected from a DCP—level officer who must be from Indian Police Service?”
No sane person will ever sought to justify what absurd argument Delhi police has forwarded. What the Delhi Police perhaps pretends to be oblivious is what it has itself reiterated time and again, “The state is under an obligation to accord the same degree of protection to safety and security of every person irrespective of any office held by such person or status of such person or any other factor!”
By Sanjeev Sirohi