NEW DELHI: VVIPs in India often court controversy for asking their security staff to clean their shoes or run errands for them. Twitteratti in India will perhaps still remember the picture of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan being carried aloft through muddy water by his security entourage while on a flood inspection last year.
But the VVIPS in the national capital will no more be able to get their security guards to do odd jobs for them, with Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik issuing an order directing his men to say no to such tasks.
The order, issued last week, directs securitymen not to carry shopping bags and tie shoelaces of the VVIPs even if asked. “The PSO (personal security officer) will confine himself to legitimate official duty and conduct himself in an appropriate manner. He should not carry bags, files etc,” Patnaik said in his order, accessed by The Sunday Standard. “The PSO’s hands must be kept free for any operational contingency,” he added.
The directive, which supersedes a 1982 order, also warns policemen against gossiping, chatting, browsing the internet and reading newspapers while on duty. “He will not indulge in gossiping, reading books or newspaper etc.. He should refrain from using his mobile phone for making casual calls or using the same for internet browsing or checking social media messages,” the order further says.
According to a top official posted with the security wing of the Delhi Police, the order was issued in the wake of concerns raised over the exploitation of security staff by the VVIPs. “There is a parliamentary standing committee report which recommends that security staff should stay off household duties. Often, VVIPs ask their security staff to go for grocery shopping, carry bags and files, serve water to guests etc.. We keep getting complaints regarding the same from time to time and we have in the past requested the VVIPs to refrain from such acts. This time the CP has issued an order,” a senior police officer said.