Sixty-one per cent of the Mumbai's 46,000-strong police force has been assigned the job of protecting VIPs and VVIPs in the metropolis that has a population of over 1.25 crore, a whopping 1,184 per cent jump in deployment since 2007.
In 2010, nearly 13,010 cops were assigned for VIPs and VVIPs protection duty while the number rose by 48 per cent to 19,349 the next year. As on November 30 this year, 28,420 policemen were protecting VIPs, a 46 per cent jump since last year, an RTI reply received by activist Chetan Kothari said.
In 2007, there were only 2,213 policemen performing such duties.
When asked to comment on the issue, Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh said, "We have our own limitations. In a democracy, VIPs are more under threat than a common man. We are doing our best to serve people with the available strength".
Lawyer Abha Singh, wife of IPS-turned-lawyer Y P Singh, said that except people holding high official positions in the government, security should be withdrawn to others.
"Those actually fighting for change in the system are deprived of security, while protection is provided to those who have no threat at all. Some people enjoy security cover to show off their importance," Singh claimed.
Meanwhile, the Aam Aadmi Party plans to hold a demonstration and a morcha outside Bandra Railway station on Saturday to demand that security for undeserving people should be withdrawn, so that the police department will have more policemen to investigate crimes against women and children.