Almost 25 per cent of Goa’s 5,400 strong police force is diverted towards providing security cover to protected persons and other services, reveals data procured by the Herald while following up a security-related issue tagged to a petition currently being heard by the Supreme Court.
The Goa government has disclosed in its affidavit to the apex court that it has reduced the number of protected persons from 36 to 31 and has in turn pulled out 143 police personnel whose services were diverted for providing security cover to the enlisted protectees.
The affidavit filed by Chief Secretary B Vijayan discloses that in Goa there is one cop for every 286 people pointing out that as on December 31, 2010 Goa Police had (males 4258, females 439) police personnel for the state’s population of 13,43,998 people.
The affidavit was filed in the wake of directions by the apex court to all state governments on the issue of security being given to VIPs.
The Supreme Court was hearing a matter in the Delhi rape case incident and had initially asked Delhi Police to withdraw cops from VIP security and deploy them for safety of women in Delhi city.
The Goa government in its affidavit disclosed that security cover for protected persons such as VIPs were withdrawn way back on March 14, 2012 after Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar took over the reins of the State governance.
The 143 security personnel withdrawn from giving security cover to protected persons are now engaged in normal policing duties in Goa.
It was stated that prior to March 14, 2013, there were 36 protected persons that is four under Z plus category, one under Z category, 25 under Y category, four under X category and two under CNS category.
‘At a meeting of the state security review held on March 14, 2012, the number of protected persons were reduced from 36 to 31 after a comprehensive review on the basis of threat perception in respect of various categories of protectees.
As a result therefore, there has been a corresponding reduction of a total of 143 in the number of security staff deployed to the protected persons being one police inspector, threepolice sub inspectors, nine assistant sub inspectors, 36 head constables, 93 police constables and one lower head constable/lower police constables,’ says the affidavit.
The state has also taken steps to reduce security personnel deployed for protecting persons including the chief minister, says the affidavit.
Furthermore, two pilot and twoescort vehicles have also been reduced after March 14, 2012.
There has been a reduction of protectees under Z plus category from four to two .
As far as the financial implications, the total cost borne by the state for providing security (in plain clothes and uniform) for protected persons is Rs 45,50,108 per month.
The affidavit states that in January this year the department of home has constituted a committee to regularly review the security categorisation of protected persons in Goa in order to increase or decrease the security deployment on the basis of security threat perceptions. The last meeting was held on January 24, this year.
The committee comprises of the IGP, DIG, additional secretary – home, joint assistant director (intelligence branch), SP (special branch), SP (north and south).
With regards to the traffic police, the affidavit discloses that there are seven traffic cells with 342 personnel. However in 2012, the State had sanctioned seven more cells with an additional strength of 300 personnel and one additional deputy superintendent. [H]