Levelling serious charges at the state security apparatus, a former top cop who joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) recently has alleged that Punjab police rarely follows the ministry of home affairs (MHA) ‘Blue Book’ pertaining to VIP security due to political interference.
His remark comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in poll-bound Punjab on Wednesday to dedicate projects worth Rs 42,000 crore to the people. He landed in Bathinda in the morning from where he was scheduled to fly to Ferozepur for a rally. However, bad weather forced a change in plans and PM Modi decided to cover the 100km distance by road – a two-hour drive. Just 10 kilometres ahead of the venue, his cavalcade was met by protesting farmers, keeping the convoy along with the PM waiting on the bridge for 20 minutes. They finally had to turn back, with the Prime Minister reportedly telling airport officials to “thank their chief minister” that he made it alive to the airport.
Addressing the media in Amritsar, former IGP Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh claimed there was a serious breach in the PM’s security, maintaining also that the Blue Book dealing with the security protocol to be followed for VIPs like the President, Vice-President and Prime Minister was seldom followed.
Kunwar will be contesting as an AAP candidate for Amritsar North in the elections expected to be held around next month. “The Blue Book is always in the personal possession of the Police Commissioners and SSPs. This book contains the security protocol that has to be followed during the visit of VVIPs like the PM or the President and Vice-President. These directions have to be followed by the officers. Shockingly, hardly any officer is aware of the Blue Book these days in the state. Under the existing political system, the politicians have made the police officers their slaves. The officers have to follow the ‘political’ guidelines, rather than the laid-down procedures,” he said.
Asserting that he was speaking as a police officer privy to the working style “these days” rather than a representative of a political party, he commented, “It doesn’t matter which party the PM belongs to. I am concerned about the sanctity of the security grid that is to be ensured for the PM wherever he goes.”
On a demand made by the BJP for imposing President’s rule in Punjab, he flayed the party, claiming that it was aimed at getting indirect control over the state. “Now that Captain Amarinder has got into an alliance with the BJP-led Centre, he intends to have the last word,” said the former IGP.