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3 cops per VIP in India but only one policeman for 663 citizens: report

India has only one cop for every 663 citizens for ordinary policing work

BS Web Team  |  New Delhi 

Police officials investigate after six inmates of Nabha Jail including dreaded Khalistan ultra and Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF) chief Harminder Mintoo escaped near Patiala (Photo: PTI)
Representative image. (Photo: PTI)

Red beacons aren't the only status symbol VIPs like to sport. Among others is having a policeman (or three) by your side. This is not a harmless proclivity either as the practice of cops being deputed to guard VIPs has left India among the least policed countries in the world, according to reports. 

Close to 20,000 VIPs have, on average, three cops guarding each of them, leaving only one cop every 663 Indians for protecting ordinary citizens, the Times of India reported while citing the latest data compiled by the Bureau of Research and Development (BPR&D). According to the daily, BPR&D data show that 56,944 cops out of the total 1.926 million officers in India are deployed for securing the safety of 20,828 VIPs across 29 states and six Union territories. On average, there are 2.73 cops guarding a single VIP, the report added. 

The worst offender among the states, according to the data cited by the daily, is Bihar, which has the maximum number of VIPs (3,200) being protected by 6,248 cops. West Bengal is not far behind with 2,207 VIPs being protected by 4,233 cops even though only 501 cops have been allowed for such duties. Jammu and Kashmir comes in third, according to data cited by the report, with 2,075 VIPs being secured by 4,499 cops. However, the maximum number of cops deputed for protecting VIPs can be found in the capital. According to the report, 7,420 policemen are deputed for such duties in Delhi, which has just 489 protected persons. Compared to the North and Eastern regions of the country, Southern states, according to the data, fare far better when it comes to not deputing policemen for protecting select individuals. 

Despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi's push for rooting out in the country, when it comes to the impact on the ground, it seems Indians, or at least a select few Indians, have no interest in changing their ways. 

Calling for cleansing the Indian psyche of the "deeply entrenched" VIP culture, PM Modi had said that 'VIP' must be replaced by 'EPI' — Every Person is Important
"The red beacon used to be fixed atop a vehicle but slowly and steadily it permeated into the psyche and got firmly entrenched in the mindset. The red beacon has gone for good but nobody can say with certainty that it has also disappeared from the mindset," said Modi in his April 2017 'Mann Ki Baat' radio address. 

"The concept behind the 'New India' is that EPI should replace VIP. EPI means Every Person is Important. We should accept the importance of 125 crore Indians," added Modi, asking people to collectively strive to flush out the

The address came close on the heels of the Modi government's decision to ban the use of red beacons, a device that has become a symbol of a culture of privilege among the political class, on most vehicles in the country. 

In April this year, the Union cabinet issued a notification prohibiting the use of red beacon lights on vehicles carrying VIPs, including PM Modi's car. The ban was implemented from May 1, 2017. 

Responding to a tweet about the decision, the Prime Minister had written: "Every Indian is special. Every Indian is a VIP." Following the announcement, Rajasthan, Odisha, Goa, Maharashtra, and Gujarat had announced their near-instantaneous support for and compliance to the announcement.

First Published: Mon, September 18 2017. 15:25 IST