Security to police officers being withdrawn

K. Srinivas Reddy

Comminique to surrender gunmen before September 10 irks officers

HYDERABAD: The decision of the police headquarters to withdraw security personnel drafted on deputation for protecting police officers facing threat from naxalites and Islamist fundamentalists, is snowballing into a controversy. Police officers facing the threat accuse HQ of being ‘insensitive’ to their security needs.

The police HQ communication that all such security guards be surrendered before September 10, failing which their salaries would be withheld has annoyed officers who lament that the Intelligence Security Wing (ISW) which is to provide them the security staff, has thrown up its hands citing trained manpower shortage.

Repeated objections reportedly raised by the Intelligence chief that security personnel should not be withdrawn all of a sudden and that the deputed personnel could be taken away only after trained personnel are allotted, fell on deaf ears at the police HQ, officers’ rue.

There are 16 top police officers of different ranks being provided personal protection by the Security Review Committee (SRC) against threat to their lives from the Left wing extremists and fundamentalist groups. The high-powered SRC comprises representatives from the Intelligence Bureau (IB), Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), State Intelligence chief and State Home Secretary.

Depending on the threat perception level, officers are provided different levels of security and guards are to be drawn from ISW or City Security Wing (CSW). But both these organisations are unable to supply trained gunmen. Against this background, ISW had made arrangements to take personnel on deputation from districts and posted them to guard the officials.

What appears to be queering the pitch is the offer of the police HQ that if need be, guards would be provided from the Special Armed Reserve (SAR) located in Hyderabad. “SAR personnel are not properly trained to act as bodyguards. We cannot simply take the risk of having a guard who is not mentally tuned to attack situations”, an officer commented.

That was the reason why officers who worked in Greyhounds and repatriated to their parent units were taken on deputation. Now, if they are to be surrendered, it tantamounts to making officers vulnerable to attacks, is the argument.

Feeling slighted that they could not go and plead for protection, a couple of officers have already surrendered their gunmen, sources say. “We cannot beg for security. It’s for the State to protect us and now the responsibility is being shirked”, an officer complained bitterly.

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