TODAY -

Police Security to Individuals: Need for regular reviews
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, April 08 2013: At present, the government of Manipur is providing security cover to a number of citizens living in the state.

The security personnel, who carry out the duties of giving physical protection to private individuals are drawn from the state Police and its armed Battalions.

A clear trend of a surge in the quantum of coverage; that is the number of people, who have been extended the official protection, is now widely visible.

It is now no longer restricted to select individual homes, but is increasingly becoming a common sight on the streets.

It seems that the flood gates have been opened and individuals are applying to the Government on the slightest reasons and imagined threats.

The Govt.of Manipur, on its part, is also apparently not applying the required yard sticks while providing the security cover.

Obviously, the security cover is provided by the Government on individual pleas that their lives are threatened.

Going by the Law and Order situation in the state, it could be a severe strain on the manpower and other resources of the state Police.

At the Centre, personnel security cover is provided to eminent dignitaries particularly by the NSG (National Security Guard) and for serving and former PMs by the SPG (Special Security Guard).

For providing security cover, an in- depth security evaluation is done by the IB (Intelligence Bureau) based on the threat perception of the individuals, taken separately.

Security cover is provided to the dignitaries only after it gets the nod of the MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs) on the recommendation.

The threat perception itself is categorised into three degrees of threats i.e.Y, Z and Z+ Categories.

People who fall under Z+ category receive the maximum security.

Not only the categorisation but also the more important factors of whether any of the dignitaries who had been given the security cover continue to require the security cover; is reviewed periodically and on need basis too.

Accordingly, the category is either upgraded or downgraded or the security cover provided is withdrawn or the same is provided to a fresh case.

Given the indiscriminate nature in which security cover is being provided to individuals in Manipur; a serious question has now arisen on the issue of the justifiability of providing the security cover.

It is now a well-known fact that security cover is also provided by the Government of Manipur to "Very Private" citizens and ex-politicians and civil servants who are no longer public figures.

Rumours abound too that in many cases even the implied threats are stage managed to make the plea of threat to life stronger and convince the competent authority.

This write up, does not, in any sense, mean that ordinary citizens do not require security.

In fact, besides providing security, it is also one of the primary responsibilities of the Government that, it should also ensure a sense of security to all the citizens.

Judging the prevailing law and order situation in Manipur, a feeling of insecurity is one of the factors common to all the people living in Manipur today.

No one feels absolutely safe.

The Police personnel deployed on the private safety of individuals can be better utilised for the common safety of the public.

This will also ameliorate the present strain on the scarce resources of the state.

(At present, there are around 8000 IRB personnel, 6000 MR personnel, 1200 police commandos and 11,000 civil police personnel.

But, Manipur being a strife torn State, the existing strength is not even adequate for ensuring security to all the people) .

So, things have come to such a pass that the whole arrangement is becoming a farce; a theatre of the absurd.

Alarmingly, there are also rumours doing the round that police personnel on such duties are being used for other questionable purposes by some unscrupulous recipients.

The general public is also sore on the ridiculous use of the security cover as a status symbol by some.

It is an appeal to the Manipur Government that the issue be immediately reviewed and further extension stopped.

For deserving and exceptional cases, a considered modality should be drawn up and such cover be extended only to those who pass the most exacting scrutiny.

Remember, it is after all, public resources which will go down the drain, if not used properly.

The recent directive of the Supreme Court to the Centre asking it to consider restricting the use of the Lal Bati (Red beacon), though not exactly on the subject issue, but which broadly conveys its disapproval of frills pandering to the collective ego of the VIP culture; may serve as a timely reminder to those who indulge in as well as encourage flaunting of authority and shirking responsibility.


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