Millennium Post

Misuse of security guards

The report that some VIPs in Punjab have outsourced their security guards to private parties and commercial interests, subletting them to industrialists and real-estate developers among others, is one that raises eyebrows. The culprits among the protected persons who have done so include politicians and police officers. These security guards in question are not from private agencies but are government employees who have been placed with the VIPs to protect them from serious threat perceptions. They have to be treated seriously and allowed to perform their duties without hindrance. That they have been treated so casually as to have been placed with private parties by the VIPs in question boggles the mind. They are not the private property of anyone and can certainly not be exploited commercially in this way, allowing the protected persons to make a profit. This is not just a violation of rules but a gross violation of good sense. It is no part of the duty of security guards, who have been assigned a particular duty, to be seconded to duties outside their official orbit. If private parties want guards they can hire them from private security agencies for they are not entitled to the exclusive services of government guards.

These security guards are not the personal servants of the VIPs in question who can be placed at any post of duty at their wish and command. As government employees, they are susceptible to government procedures, supervision and control. They have to follow the law of the land. It can hardly be forgotten that Punjab is a state that went through an extreme phase of violence during the years it bore the brunt of terrorism. The terrorist activities in the state were brought under control with difficulty. It was in these trying times that high levels of security were provided to those leaders and police officers who were leading the counter-terrorism fightback. The security guards, thus, have a serious purpose. Otherwise they are just policemen who should ideally be deployed for the protection of people generally. There are other ways in which security guards in Punjab have been treated badly, including being put to do menial tasks. Somewhere along the way there has been a gross dereliction of duty. There should be an enquiry in the the matter and those guilty of misusing their security guards should be punished.
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