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VIPs have more guards than alloted strength

New Delhi: At a time when police-population ratio is abnormally low, 16,800 VIPs across the country had more than 50,000 security personnel to guard them, nearly double the actually allotted strength.

According to a Home Ministry report, 50,059 policemen were deployed in 25 states and Union Territories in 2010 to provide security to 16,788 VIPs, which included ministers, MPs, MLAs, judges and bureaucrats, for more than six months.

Interestingly, only 28,298 police personnel were actually sanctioned to be deployed for protection to these VIPs in that year.

The report, released by Home Minister P Chidambaram on Friday, said manpower for protected persons` protection duty is drawn from available resources generally without corresponding increase in sanctioned strength for the purpose.

"The increase in the protected persons` protection deployment has strained the already limited manpower resources of state police. Therefore, there is a need for periodic review of the deployment of police for protected persons` protection against need based assessment coupled with proportionate increase in the sanctioned and professionally trained manpower commensurate to the bona fide protected persons` protection requirements," the report said.

The report, prepared by Bureau of Police Research and Development, said as on January 1, 2011, the actual strength of the police personnel for per lakh population was 131.39 against the sanctioned posts of 173.51 personnel per lakh population.

Altogether 47,355 police personnel — more than double the alloted strength — were deployed to provide security to 17,451 VIPs across the country in 2009. The alloted strength of police personnel for VIP security that year was 23,637.

From the perusal of states and UT wise data, it is observed that during 2010, the maximum of 3,030 VIPs were given protection in Bihar followed by 1,685 in Punjab and 1,640 in West Bengal.

For protection of VIPs, Punjab deployed the maximum of 5,410 police personnel followed by 5,001 security men by National Capital Territory Delhi and 3,958 by Andhra Pradesh in 2010.

The total police-population ratio (total sanctioned number of police personnel available for per lakh population) has shown wide variations across the country. The most populous states have relatively much less sanctioned strength of police men than warranted by their total population.

West Bengal has just 81 police personnel for per lakh population, followed by 88 personnel in Bihar, 115 in Madhya Pradesh and 118 in Rajasthan against the national average of 174 policemen for per lakh population.

Sparsely populated states like Tripura has 1,124 police men for per lakh population, 1,147 personnel in Manipur and 1,112 in Mizoram.

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