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Why Politicians Need Security in Their Area?

Posted by Admin on May 12, 2014 | Comment

At a time when women safety is getting noticed as a widely used agenda of politicians and paucity of staff in police force is being discussed, the huge investment made for the security of politicians needs to be questioned. The security provided to the President, Prime Minister and Chief Ministers of the states is understood, but we do see instances wherein politicians who are not in power or who are facing legal charges also enjoying government-sponsored security.

Is it Security or Status Symbol for Indian Politicians?

Security for VVIPs is essential, but more often it translates into a sheer display of power. The Home Ministry approves Z-plus security cover to the politicians and bureaucrats depending on the threat perception to the individuals. If we are to follow a general norm, security cover should be withdrawn once the threat ceases to exist. There had been serious allegations against the Home Ministry as it didn’t downscale or withdraw costly security arrangements despite the intelligence agency (IB) reassessing their security threats and finding it unnecessary. In most cases, the politicians are reluctant to give it up as they view this security cover as their status symbol.

Types of Securities for Indian Politicians

Providing security to high-risk individuals is a common practice across the world. India is no different. However, the problem arises when less deserving individuals continue to enjoy the same privileges as their deserving counterparts.

Out of the four categories of security cover, Z-Plus category is of the highest level wherein an individual is entitled to have round-the-clock personal security, including 28 NSG commandos, Cobra commandos and other arrangements. Z-Plus is followed by Z, which caters to chief ministers, union ministers, judges of Supreme Court and even bureaucrats. They get a security cover of 22 personnel.

While ‘Y’ category encompasses 11 personnel including 2 personal security officers (PSOs), the beneficiaries of ‘X’ category cover get 2 personnel for their protection. Granting security cover and deciding on the category is the sole discretion of the Home Ministry.

Security for Politicians – Costly Investment & Unwanted Consequences

As per the media reports, around Rs. 341 crore was spent on the security of VVIPs in 2012. Lion’s share of the expenditure has gone into protecting 376 individuals who were given Z-plus or central security forces. Rs. 40 crore was spent for the security of President’s House. Gujarat alone spent Rs. 30 crore in providing special security to 283 persons. These staggering figures point to one thing – a waste of taxpayers’ money.

Let’s keep the investment factor aside for the time being. It is an open secret that people-police ratio in our country is far below the global standard. Despite this, there’s an unbridled growth in the trend of allotting security personnel for VVIPs and VIPs, which is further depleting the number of personnel available for protecting the common man.

Common people are incensed by the fact that politicians ensure safety for themselves and their families while leaving the rest to be killed and raped at the hands of perpetrators. Their elaborate security arrangements often create unavoidable trouble to the public. The security men are often accused of high-handedness and being unnecessarily tough on civilians.

The Home Ministry needs to set up a committee to review security investments and whether the category of security allotted to the beneficiaries is justified. It has to make the need assessment and take a simple and a balanced approach – provide security to those who need it, and deny it to the rest.

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