Government sleeps on law as VIPs let loose their guards on public

Published: 09th May 2013 12:15 PM  |   Last Updated: 09th May 2013 12:15 PM   |  A+A-


The recent roadside brawl involving Tollywood star and son of Union Tourism Minister K Chiranjeevi, Ram Charan Tej and two techies who were roughed up by the actor’s bodyguards has once again brought up the issue of the role and powers of personal security guards employed by various persons. The incident occurred in Banjara Hills on Sunday allegedly after the two techies failed to give way to the actor’s car.

Meanwhile, a petition was filed with the State Human Rights Commission on Wednesday seeking a direction to the police to take necessary action against Ram Charan Tej in connection with the brawl.

This and many other such incidents, according to experts, could have been prevented if only the government implemented the Andhra Pradesh Private Security Agencies Regulation Act 2005 in the state, which clearly mentions the dos and don’ts for personal security guards, especially during interface with public. A private security firm, A-1, is the agency that is providing security cover to Ram Charan Tej. Not only do his security guards wear safaris, they also carry wireless sets giving a wrong impression to the public that they are security officers provided by the state police.

Explaining the delay in the implementation of the Act in the state, Kripanand Tripathi Ujela, special secretary to government, Home department, said, “The home department is not at fault for the delay. Many issues have to be addressed before granting licences. All files are lying with various departments and we have not yet received a single report.”

Many private security agencies, who wish not to be named, admitted that the guards are required to follow any instructions given by the persons who they protect.

“We have experience providing security to actors and we have been in the field since 1995. Our boys know how to behave with public but it depends on the demands of the one who hires us. We are being paid for their safety and security and such incidents (RamCharan’s) may happen,” said the proprietor of a security agency in Secunderabad, adding, “we are also required to track the movements of enemies of the VIP and act proactive”.

What exactly are the duties of a bodyguard and the qualifications to become one? According to V Amarnath of Agile Security Services, “Apart from knowing the dos and don’ts of the job, which could be location specific, one has to plan the movement of the VIP well in advance and ensure that the security arrangements are in place.” He further said, “The family background and education qualifications of the aspirants are checked besides their IQ levels. Then they need to be groomed in terms of appearance and behaviour before handing over any assignments.”

C Bhaskar Reddy, chairman, the Central Association of Private Security Industry-AP Chapter, said, “The act requires a candidate to undergo 135 hours of training which includes unarmed combat, first aid, fire fighting, bomb disposal and conduct rules.” Condemning the assault by the actor’s bodyguards, he said, “Security guards have no right to manhandle public. The person who gives instructions may not be aware of rules and restrictions but agencies cannot run away from their responsibilities.”

Asked if the Hyderabad police can take suo moto action against the actor based on evidences available, Hyderabad police commissioner Anurag Sharma responded by saying, “I will have to examine with my legal advisor.”

Another police official, on condition of anonymity, said that the least the local police could do was to register a case of public nuisance.

SHRC Admits Petition:A petition was filed with the State Human Rights Commission on Wednesday requesting its direction to the police department to take necessary action against actor Ram Charan Tej.

The petitioner, Syed A Saleem, said, “Ram Charan is a reputed hero and son of Union Minister, but is it okay to humiliate a poor man because you come from a influential family? And is it okay on the part of police to not even order an inquiry into the incident even after three days because people involved are influential?”

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