Modi will reach the port city by a special aircraft at 1.15 p.m., Andhra Pradesh…
New Delhi: The honest-and brave-reply of a Delhi Police Constable has prompted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office to re-evaluate the deployment of nearly 500 security personnel during his movement in the Capital.
This trigger was pulled on October 2 during the launch of the Swachh Bharat campaign when Modi had picked up a broom to sweep the parking area of Mandir Marg Police Station in the Capital. As Modi interacted with the police personnel present, he asked them why they did not keep their workplace clean.
What followed was not the usual embarrassed silence, but a clear, if slightly impertinent, reply from Constable Ram Kumar (name changed). Kumar told Modi the police station was not clean because “a majority of them (policemen) remained occupied with his security route and they just didn’t have the time for anything else”.
Ram Kumar had his moment, and Modi left for Rajghat soon after. The remark must have struck home, because the deployment of 50-odd policemen at just one barricade on Tees January Marg where incoming traffic had also been stopped was one of the examples that came up later in the PMO’s talks with the Delhi Police.
“On October 3, a new set of guidelines for the security arrangements came from the PMO which clearly asked the Delhi Police to deploy only the required number of personnel for the prime minister’s security instead of turning the city into a fortress,” a senior police officer said on condition of anonymity.
Police Headquarters is now abuzz with talk of “trimming down” security deployment on VIP routes, with “no suffering for citizens when Modi is on the move” the latest catchphrase.
The security trimdown initiative comes in wake of the Prime Minister’s recent visit to the United States, where the President often mingles with regular citizens without security paraphernalia getting in the way.
The US tour, and Modi’s firsthand experience there, itself came on the heels of few VIP movements events that caused great inconvenience to members of the public. These include the Prime Minister’s visit to a hospital in Saket to visit a post-surgery recuperating Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.