Tuesday, April 23, 2013

tip to the tycoon.

SreeNair | 3:49 AM |

The RIL chairman Mr.Mukhesh Ambani will get Z-category security ,the second in line with the VVIP's Z+ in its worth as per the orders issued by Union Home Ministry purportedly after a written threat received by him from the terror outfit Indian Mujahid. A police officer on condition of anonymity reveals to The Indian Express correspondent that the letter, delivered by an unidentified person to Ambani's personal staff in a sealed envelope at his Maker Chambers office on February 24,contained threats that the IM would damage his 27-storey mansion 'Antilia' on Altamount Road.

The business tycoon will be guarded by 22 armed commandos led by an inspector rank official and escorted by pilot and follow-on vehicles.

The new entrant to the VIP- security club will have to foot the bill on a 'cost reimbursement 'basis at Rs.15 Lkhs on a monthly basis.

The order has stirred a hornets nest.The Hindu editorial said that though the Ambani has asked for setting up a chawky at his skyscraper 'Antilla' the Govt has gone from dragging its feet to sanctioning the full Bandobusth that comes with Z-category.

When asked for a flower he was gifted with a full garden.

There has been mixed reactions.former Border Security Force Director General Prakash Singh called the decision as atrocious and was quoted as saying:"While the CRPF was fighting hard against Naxals, deployment of personnel for a private person would hurt force’s morale. India’s richest man can easily get best of private guards for himself…There is no need to government to oblige him,” . Similarly, Aam Admi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal strongly opposed the move and stated that if at all there was a threat perception Mr. Ambani could hire the best security agency in the world.

VIP security is a status symbol ,though the rich by themselvelves can invest in high and steely private security systems over threat perceptions if any.

Forbes ranks Mr Ambani as 22nd in the world of riches and estimates his net worth to $21.5 billion.He stands in the 37th position in the list of world’s 71 most powerful people only to be behind Congress president Sonia Gandhi (12th position) and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (19th position).

senior CPI(M) leader Basudeb Acharia told reporters that:“It is unprecedented that at a time when such ghastly and gruesome incidents of rape are taking place and people are demanding more security, Z category security is given to a top corporate leader like Ambani and the commoners are left in the lurch,”.

Maharashtra minister for rural development Jayant Patil of NCP justified the security cover. He said it is important for the state to protect its industrialists to create a conducive environment for business and investment.

Lately the Supreme Court has frowned on the offensive VIP Security Culture observing that an indiscriminate exercise in providing security to VIPs resulted in abuse of power.

In India, there are only 137 policemen for every lakh of the population while over 45,000 policemen guard 13,000 VIPs across India. Official records also say that 22 per cent of police posts are vacant. The center has told the court that approximately Rs. 341 crore was spent on guarding VVIPs in Delhi last year. Most of this money was spent on 376 individuals who had been given Z-plus or central security forces. Rs. 40 crore was spent on the security in Rashtrapati Bhawan alone.Estimates indicate that nearly Rs. 600 crore is spent annually on all areas of VIP security, including salaries of personnel on VIP duty.

In the national Capital alone, there are about 390 guarded VIPs and about 15,000 Delhi police personnel, out of its strength of 60,000, are deployed on VIP security duties. The protected include ministers, politicians, bureaucrats, judges, religious leaders, and a handful of journalists.

How things could be like if the 40,000 odd high profile business men are entitled for security cover worthy of their purses while it goes with out saying that in this 'global' scenario all businessmen are VIPs.

“If streets are unsafe, then it has to be unsafe for the Secretary of the State also,” Justice Singhvi observed.The court went on to say that" Indiscriminate use of power in placing VIPs in a high dignitary category results in abuse of power. Positional security or security due to threat perception becomes a symbol of power. If power is misused, it runs riot on ordinary citizens.”

"Let us treat our citizens on a par.”

As Home Minister P. Chidambaram said:“I am internally secure, so I do not need elaborate security.”


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