If the junior does not show up on duty, then the senior police officer's salary will be deducted. This is a new directive of the Jammu and Kashmir Home department. The state home department, however, states that this is being done to make the force accountable before Lok Sabha elections that begin next week.
"Consequent upon the recent security review meetings that have taken a note of threat assessment specific instructions have been issued to ensure implementation... if the security personnel do not report back to their parent units by or before April 5th the salary of security personnel equivalent to the number of days from April 5th till he reports back shall be deducted from the salary of the SSPs/Commandants/DDOs of respective parent units unless the non-reporting of the security personnel is reported by officers to ADGP security," reads the order signed by Additional Secretary Khalid Majeed.
"Having a PSO around is considered a status symbol specially in Jammu and Kashmir but now in view of elections security of many has been pruned, that's why this exercise has been initiated," a senior level official confides.
According to him, PSOs who have been withdrawn from duty few months back still have not reported back to their parent cadre. "We need to rationalise the deployment for elections that is why such strict initiative has been taken," he adds.
Large number of PSOs have been attached to politicians, bureaucrats and police officials. In fact, in some cases attachment has been done unauthorisedly. "Officers just sanction security and in some cases protectees are allowed to keep their family members attached to them. Now they do not want to relieve them," explains an officer.
According to him when repeated warnings did not pay any heed that is when such a stern order was taken out.
"In cases PSOs/Guard personnel have been deployed unauthorisedly the salary equivalent of such personnel would be deducted from the salary of the concerned officers for such unauthorised deployment/attachment," the order further states.
The order has evoked mixed reactions in the force which has been fighting terrorism for decades. "This is no way to get an order implemented," complains a serving officer. "It is like a Tughlaqi farman. Force has been withdrawn, it takes time to report back to parent unit," explains another.
But the Home department says enough time has been given. In fact the department has also sought a detailed report by April 6 followed by weekly update including action taken on the above directions regarding deduction of the salary.
"In election season not only candidates but their campaigners and also polling parties need protection and that is why rotation is taking place," logically explains an officer.