In Jammu And Kashmir, VIP Security Becomes Flashpoint Between Cops, Babus

The Security Review Coordination Committee (SRCC) not only assessed threat perceptions to protectees, but took a call on who needed security to what level and provide it.

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In Jammu And Kashmir, VIP Security Becomes Flashpoint Between Cops, Babus

Change in order will be crucial in situations like withdrawal of security to many state leaders (File)


Srinagar: 

The police and the bureaucrats of Jammu and Kashmir are at loggerheads over a new order of the government that empowers babus to take a call on which VIP in the state gets security and which one doesn't. In every state, this power of threat assessment and recommendation belongs to the police.

The Security Review Coordination Committee (SRCC) not only assessed threat perceptions to protectees, but took a call on who needed security to what level and provide it.

But on April 9, the government issued an order under which the committee was divested of its decision-making powers and it was made an advisory committee.

The final decision will be taken by governor or chief minister of the state through chief secretary.

"After finalising its recommendations, the SRCC will consult the DGP JK (state police chief) and place his views if any along with the recommendations of SRCC before the Governor through CS for approval," states the order, a copy of which is with NDTV.

The composition of the committee has been rejigged as well in the order, which was issued under the directions of Chief Secretary of the state, BVR Subrahmanyam.

The senior officer of the state's Criminal Investigation Department who headed the committee has become a member. Other members now include Additional Director (Intelligence Bureau), IGP (Kashmir), IGP (Jammu) and ADGP (Security) remains as the Convenor of the Committee.

The change in the order will be crucial in situations like the recent withdrawal and restoration of security to several hundred political leaders in Jammu and Kashmir. Their security, withdrawn in the aftermath of the terror attack in Pulwama, was restored by the Governor after a huge uproar from the state's political establishment.

It was pointed out that the Chief Secretary had led the meeting where the decision to withdraw security was taken. While revoking the decision and restoring security on April 8, the Governor had told NDTV, "A chain of command (of security officials) will now review the security of political workers from time to time. In all circumstances, the decision should go through Governor".

A senior bureaucrat in JK state administration told NDTV that the move was meant to cut down on wastage of police resources. "The role of SRCC has been redefined in tune with the procedure in other states," he said.

The state administration's move has led to a power tussle between the bureaucrats and the police officers. "How can a babu assess or analyse threat perceptions?" a senior police officer said, contending that a police officer is trained to assess inputs provided by Research Analysis Wing or Intelligence Bureau.

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