With an aim to create necessary infrastructure for better policing by diverting precious resources to the more important and essential task of ensuring law and order in the state, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday cut down his own security from 1392 to 1016 personnel.
In addition to this, around 1500-odd security personnel have been withdrawn in other categories of constitutional and government functionaries, according to an official spokesperson.
The move followed a security review meeting chaired by the Chief Minister and attended by Chief Principal Secretary Suresh Kumar, DGP Suresh Arora and ADGP (Intelligence) Dinkar Gupta here.
Amarinder Singh, it may be noted, has already ordered an end to all deployment on his travel routes. The spokesperson said the Chief Minister's security was likely to be cut down even more after the next round of review, based on fresh reports on threat perceptions. The Chief Minister has made it clear that he does not want any security beyond the bare necessity.
The Chief Minister also directed the police and other agencies to review the existing security policy, which was approved by the Punjab Cabinet and subsequently notified by the Department of Home Affairs and Justice, in 2013. Captain Amarinder asked the agencies to submit their report after completion of the review soon.
The Chief Minister underlined the need to provide only need-based security, taking the latest threat perception into account, for any individuals. Given that the existing security policy was three years old, he directed the police to call for fresh reports from the state and central agencies to map the prevailing threat perceptions and decide on the security quantum accordingly.
This was the second security review meeting of the Captain Amarinder government since it took over the state's reins.
During the last security review carried out in March, by a Committee headed by DGP Law & Order, Punjab, 749 police and paramilitary personnel were withdrawn from various categories of protectees.
Addressing the meeting, Captain Amarinder further pointed out that the prevailing security environment - a key criterion in determining the threat perception to any individual - had also undergone significant change in the past three years, requiring it to be revisited by the concerned agencies.
The meeting took note of the guidelines of the Ministry of Home Affairs, prescribing regular security reviews on the basis of available threat inputs in order to increase or decrease security deployment on the basis of current threat perception. These guidelines clearly state that the tendency to continue with the security arrangements even in the absence of real threat should be avoided. Accordingly, the Security Wing has sought fresh Threat Perception Reports (TPRs) from the Intelligence Wing and the field units with regard to certain protectees, the meeting was informed. As soon as the fresh TPRs become available, another security review will be carried out to complete the exercise, it was decided.
It may be noted that the Congress manifesto for the Punjab assembly elections had also clearly stated that the unhealthy trend of using police by politicians and bureaucrats as personal security will be strongly discouraged. Captain Amarinder has repeatedly reiterated his commitment to police reforms, including putting an end to political misuse of the force.
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