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National » Karnataka

Updated: August 23, 2011 02:03 IST

Ministers' yen for gunmen triggers staff shortage

Mohit M. Rao
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City Armed Reserve is finding it difficult to fulfil all its responsibilities

The increasing demand from Ministers for gunmen for security purposes is draining the limited human resources of the City Armed Reserve (CAR).

It is not just the Ministers who seek gunmen, a legion of former Ministers, MPs, MLAs and MLCs also want them, said a senior officer from the CAR.

Of the 2,500 staff, as more than 300 gunmen and an equal number of guards are being deployed to provide security to Ministers and judges, the department struggles to juggle all its responsibilities, including escorts for VIPs and for cash remittances, arms and ammunition transfers, and guards for vital installations and banks.

With nearly 60 gunmen protecting Minsters from the CAR South division, a source there said there were several instances when his department has to reject demands by Ministers for additional security. “Some Ministers even ask for particular gunmen in the department,” he said.

Acknowledging the staff crunch, an official in the CAR headquarters said: “We have had to cut down manpower for some of our responsibilities, but we cannot compromise on security for Ministers and judges.”

Recruitment

Even though recruitment to fill up vacancies in the CAR has begun, officials feel it would not be enough.

The drive seeks to fill 960 posts in the Bangalore CAR. But, a senior official estimates vacancies in the department to be around 1,200.

Vacancies are most apparent in the South division. While the number of Ministers provided with gunmen has increased, the number of CAR policemen in the city has remained the same since the last recruitment in 2007-2008.

Long wait

As many as 36,185 candidates appeared for the physical test held from July 6 to July 30 in the city.

A written test now awaits them, followed by a medical examination, police verification and caste certificate verification by the district authorities.

“The entire process of selection takes a minimum of six months,” said Syed Ulfat Hussain, DIGP, Recruitment and Training. Then there is the training given to the selected candidates. “It will be more than a year for the posts to get filled,” said a senior CAR official.

“And, in a year's time a lot more vacancies would have been created,” he added.


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