JAMMU: There has been a lot of discussion in the media over the provision, modification and withdrawal of security to protectees in the state. A lot of this is based on hearsay, without knowledge of the process adopted for determining security needs of individuals.
The state has a Security Review Coordination Committee (SRCC) which determines the security categorisation of those requiring separate security and vehicles. The primary consideration for providing security to protectees is “Threat Perception”. Further, there are guidelines contained in the Yellow Book issued by Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. In J&K, the additional aspect of militancy is factored in by indicating the security that would be provided in militancy affected areas. Based on these factors, the SRCC takes decisions on the level of security to be provided to various protectees.
In the last one year, owing to a large proportion of state police resources getting tied up in providing security to individuals at the cost of the general security environment, the SRCC undertook an exercise to revisit the security categorisation of protectees. As has been reported in the media, based on a press release from MHA, a large number of protectees were either decategorised or their security reduced, based on their‘threat perception’. Since the Governor’s rule in the state, this has freed 2,768 police personnel and 389 vehicles, many of which were in excess of entitlement.
The Governor, as well the Government of India, have also directed that the SRCC will continue to further examine and review the requirement of security cover on a case to case basis, based on merit. The Governor has further directed that the SRCC should meet immediately to review the cases of political persons who lost their security/were decategorized/down-graded and provide necessary security to deserving cases. This will be done immediately by the SRCC. Further, the Governor has directed that the procedure for providing security be modified and that the recommendations of the SRCC with the views of the DGP will be put up for approval to the Governor or Chief Minister through the Chief Secretary, as is the case in most states. This is particularly relevant as the DGP is not involved in the process at present.
The work of the SRCC is an ongoing one and it will continue to review security requirements of individuals as and when necessary.