Manipur speaker’s bodyguards assaulted SI

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The home department has decided to build a fleet of vehicles specifically for VIP escort service because many police vehicles are being diverted for escort duty for ministers, leaving the force without vehicles for ordinary tasks. A government order (GO (Ms) No. 67/2014/Home) issued just before the end of the previous fiscal year decided to buy 40 new vehicles for Rs 4 crore. The state police head advised that a fleet be built up specifically for pilot and escort duties so that VIP security was not jeopardized. “At the present time, no vehicles are earmarked for VIP/VVIP duties,” the order stated. The departmental buying committee is searching for automobiles that can be bought that are suitable. Additionally, according to the directive, new cars will be added every year to replace the older ones, which will continue to be employed for routine tasks. Out of the 40 vehicles, two will be distributed to each of the 19 police districts and two will be stationed in the capital’s police headquarters. However, as stated in the police chief’s letter to the government, the issue is not about “ensuring the security of VIPs,” as top police sources claim. Most of the time, police vehicles in the control rooms of police stations and those utilized for routine patrol are required to drive ministerial and other VIP vehicles. This has frequently left the police without vehicles to handle emergency situations. Under the Thiruvananthapuram commissionerate, there are 15 control room cars on duty at once, whereas there are 12 under the Kochi commissionerate. The routes between Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi are the ones commonly utilized by VIPs, which results in a major scarcity of vehicles and people in the police stations between the two cities, according to top police sources. “Most of these vehicles are deployed as pilot vehicles for ministers,” they added. A sub-inspector-level official as well as three to four civil police personnel must be present in each escort vehicle. The personal protection of other ministers requires the use of a pilot car, which the police are unable to refuse. However, according to the law, only the chief minister and the home minister among the ministers are given permanent pilot and escort service. A senior officer recounted the story of a former minister who insisted on always having a pilot vehicle with him when he left the guest house. When there is a vehicle shortage, the police offer the service, but at some point they stop and claim a technical problem with the vehicle.

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