India, which faces an acute crunch of police personnel, seems to have no shortage of policement to guard VIPs, with three personnel deployed for protecting each VIP. As against this, the rest of the country has to make do with 1 policeman per 761 citizens.
According to recent data on police organisations in the country, VIPs in the states and union territories are now inclined to deploy more and more police personnel for VIP security than the number sanctioned for the purpose.
Though the union home ministry has, over the past three years pruned the central list of VIP protectees including ministers and bureaucrats by constantly reviewing the 'real' threat perception, states do not seem to share the same sentiment despite facing huge shortage of police personnel.
The Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) of the home ministry had last week come out with the revealing data that showed, 25 states and union territories had deployed 50,059 police personnel for protecting 16,788 VIPs which included, MPs, MLAs, bureaucrats and judges in 2010. What was interesting though, was the deployment of police personnel for these VIPs during the year was 21,761 in excess of the number actually sanctioned for their security.
The data, released by union home minister P Chidambaram on Friday, also showed that Punjab with a vacancy of 11,000 police personnel - had topped the list by sparing the maximum number of 5,410 cops for the security of VIPs followed by Delhi (5,100 cops) and Andhra Pradesh (3,958 cops) despite facing shortage.
According to home ministry statistics, Delhi faced police vacancy of 1,186, while Andhra Pradesh had a requirement of 40,596 personnel in the state. Though many states had undertaken drives to fill these vacancies the number had not yet reached the desired level.
Bihar, with the worst police-population ratio, had the maximum of 3,030 VIPs who were extended protection. West Bengal with 1,640 came second on the adverse police population scale, followed by 1,685 in Punjab