CM orders transfer of transport department officer responsible for red beacon error

Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday ordered the transfer of the transport department official responsible for the error on the red beacon issue, while ruling out any slowdown in the review and withdrawal of security to political leaders in the state.

Talking to mediapersons in the Vidhan Sabha gallery here, the Chief Minister made it clear that there would be no change in his government’s red beacon policy, as mandated in the Congress poll manifesto and ratified through a cabinet decision.

His government, said Captain Amarinder, was fully committed to end the VVIP culture in the state and there would be no further relaxation in the exemptions, barring those laid down by the cabinet. He made it clear that he and his cabinet colleagues would not use the red beacons, which they had decided to voluntarily give up even though the Congress manifesto had exempted them.

The Chief Minister categorically stated that he had directed the Chief Secretary to immediately shift out the officers/ officials responsible for Tuesday’s goof-up. Removal of red beacons is part of his government’s commitment to eradicate the VIP culture in the state, he added.

Captain Amarinder also ruled out any slowdown in the withdrawal or pruning of security to political leaders and officers, saying security was given based on threat perceptions. The letter which had created confusion among the media was written before he held a preliminary meeting with the Director General of Police (DGP) on March 24.

The Chief Minister said he had directed the DGP to take necessary steps for implementing the security review decision in the interest of good policing and for the welfare of the police. He said that with the withdrawal of Police personnel and doing away with the prevalent system of deploying police personnel on VVIP routes, the surplus police personnel relieved from these superfluous duties would be available for posting in their respective police districts to strengthen public policing.

The Chief Minister also said that he had already asked the DGP to work out a proposal for giving a weekly off and 8 hours duty schedule for the police personnel in order to create a congenial atmosphere to work.