India's Most Protected Man in Khaki
By HARPREET BAJWA | Published: 26th January 2014 08:13 AM |
Punjab Director General of Police S S Saini who already has the distinction of being the youngest state police chief will now be known as the most protected police officer in the country. As per the latest Intelligence Bureau (IB) alert, he is in the hit-list of dreaded Sikh militant group Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) which has hatched a conspiracy to assassinate him. The 54-year-old Saini, who fought the Khalistani militants when Punjab was terrorised by them, became the highest-ranking police officer of the state in March 2012.
Sources said BKI members held a meeting in end December in Milan, Italy, where the plan to eliminate the 1982 batch IPS officer was discussed. According to IB, the meeting was attended by Jatinder Singh alias Kaka, son of BKI chief Wadha Singh; Manjinder Singh, BKI operative from the UK; Kuldip Singh, Jodha Singh and two other operatives from Italy.
“Saini has been in the hit list of militants for some time now. Following the latest inputs, his security has been further enhanced,” said Additional Director General of Police (Intelligence) Hardeep Singh Dhillon.
Acting on the IB inputs, the DGP office has issued alerts to all the Senior Superintendents of Police (SSPs), Commissioners, Inspectors General of Police (Zones) and Deputy Inspectors General of Police (Ranges) to be on high alert for the DGP’s security.
At present, Saini gets Z-plus category security cover, under which he is protected by 50 personnel drawn from Punjab Police and CRPF who are deployed at his residence and Punjab police headquarters. Now, another 32 paramilitary personnel will join his security detail, taking the total number of personnel guarding him to 82. The DGP has been allotted a fleet of five vehicles including a jammer vehicle and an armed vehicle in which he travels.
Two Deputy Superintendents of Police (DSPs) are part of Saini’s security; one was with SPG till recently. As part of the new security apparatus, a route plan—mandatory for VVIPs—has to be laid out before he travels to any place.
In 1987, Saini won the police medal for gallantry, in recognition of his leadership in operations against militants. In 1991, he had been injured in an attempt on his life in Chandigarh by the same insurgents.
Sources said an estimated `10 lakh is spent on his security a month. Salaries of the personnel guarding him are the main component of the expenditure besides maintenance of vehicles.
Till now the most protected police officer had been former Punjab DGP and supercop KPS Gill who had around 100 security personnel guarding him. He had a convoy of six vehicles. Former DGP D S Mangat was given similar cover. Both these DGPs were heading the state police during the peak of terrorism.
It may be noted that the DGP of Jammu and Kashmir has less security cover than his Punjab counterpart. His cavalcade includes a bullet proof car, and around 30 police personnel. Saini’s counterpart in the Naxal-hit Chhattisgarh has three vehicles in his convoy, besides residential guards for their protection.