Chandigarh: In the
news in recent months for all the wrong reasons, Punjab Police
have now been left even more red-faced. Details submitted to the
Punjab and Haryana High Court this week have revealed that the top
echelons of the government and the state police have little faith
in the security provided by the force.
From Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, his son and Deputy Chief
Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, Badal's son-in-law and cabinet
minister Adesh Pratap Singh Kairon, Sukhbir Badal's brother-in-law
Bikram Singh Majithia to Director General of Police (DGP) Sumedh
Singh Saini, no one trusts Punjab Police for the innermost
security ring around them.
All these biggies have one or more sections (6-8 security
personnel with sophisticated weapons) of the paramilitary Central
Reserve Police Force (CRPF) around them for their innermost
While Badal senior has 10 sections around him, Sukhbir Badal and
Kairon have four each and Majithia and Saini have one each.
No doubt the Badal father-son duo and the DGP have been high on
the target list of terrorists and enjoy Z-plus category security,
but that is hardly any solace for Punjab Police. The state police
personnel are around the VIPs, but it is the CRPF which dominates.
What is most embarrassing for Punjab Police is the fact that even
the headquarters of the force, located in Chandigarh's Sector 9,
is guarded round-the-clock by three sections of the CRPF along
with its own personnel.
Punjab Congress president and Gurdaspur MP Partap Singh Bajwa
said: "The Punjab government and its police chief have little
trust in its own police when it comes to providing security and
maintaining vigil. The Who's Who of the Punjab government and the
state police have made it clear that their lives are more precious
than those of its citizens, and its police force lacks capacity
and capability to protect people."
Bajwa alleged that the Punjab government had "kept the CRPF for
protecting itself and Punjab Police for wreaking vengeance on its
The ruling Akali Dal chided Bajwa for his remarks. A party
spokesman said that Bajwa had no understanding about protection
given to Z-plus category protectees.
Punjab Police have drawn flak in recent months for assaulting a
young woman in Tarn Taran in full public view, driving a teenaged
rape victim to suicide by harassing her in Patiala district and
not protecting its own officers. An assistant sub-inspector in
uniform was shot dead in Amritsar for protecting his daughter from
a group of louts.
Embarrassed by the fact that top functionaries were being secured
by the CRPF, Punjab Police have gone into damage control mode by
saying: "It is learnt that an issue is being made out of central
forces being deployed for the protection of senior functionaries
of the Punjab government. Since the matter involves the prestige
and morale of the police and security forces, it is important to
set the record straight on the matter. Security forces often work
together in close coordination in a cohesive manner in fulfilment
of a common objective, whether it is protection of highly
threatened individuals or any other facet of internal security
duties such as operations against militants and insurgents."
"Punjab has a particularly long tradition of various central and
state security forces working together, and they have numerous
success stories to their credit during the disturbed decade of the
eighties and early nineties. When different forces work together,
they are able to draw on their varied skills and experience and
share best practice to achieve a common goal," a police spokesman
As happens in such cases, the truth lies somewhere in between.
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