Rs 4,596 Cr released since 1989 under SRE
JAMMU: The recent brag by a young brat about his father leading king size life because of being a senior police officer is not an exaggeration. This is reality of Jammu and Kashmir Police which has gone high-profile with its serving and retired officers enjoying lavish lifestyles, courtesy the whopping Central funds under Security Related Expenditure Head, which has crossed Rs 4,596 crore during the past two and half decades.
Jammu and Kashmir, rated as second most corrupt State of the country, remains first preference for some Indian Police Service officers because of luxuries and facilities available here. The privileges are not only being enjoyed by the serving officers-of all gazetted ranks-but retirees also retain most of these even decades after their superannuation. Recent exposure about ‘abuse of official position’ mainly by the offspring of an Inspector General and Deputy Inspector General is just a tip of the iceberg. The details are surprising.
The allurement of glamour is so enchanting that even after their superannuation, several retired IPS and IAS officers continue to stay in Jammu and Kashmir, notwithstanding the fact that they cannot own properties due to State Subject laws. They continue to avail of lavish perks, which is unimaginable in their parent states. How these facilities are manipulated in the records remains a million dollar question.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has reimbursed Rs 4,596 crore to Jammu and Kashmir under Security Related Expenditure (SRE) for police organisation since 1989. This excludes Rs 149.25 crore reimbursed so far this financial year.
Though the Jammu and Kashmir Police force is suffering on account of logistics, many retired officers are enjoying the facilities like vehicles, drivers, PSOs and even orderlies. On the pretext of threat perception they do have guards posted at their residences both in Kashmir and Jammu thus burdening the poor Indian tax payer.
Spouses and children of serving and retired police officers even for errands is a common sight across the State. Travel to premier educational institutions, queues of red beacon lights with cops can be found in waiting for the high profile children to be dropped back their homes. “This has tremendous impact on other students who feel psychological strain on seeing privileged kids enjoying better of all the worlds”, a parent said while waiting for picking his little daughter from a renowned Jammu school.
According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, J and K is being provided funds under SRE in view of militancy. “With a view to supplement the resources of the J and K Government, a separate SRE scheme for J and K was introduced for reimbursement of expenditure on police (SRE-Police). Under the SRE-Police scheme, the expenditure related to carriage of constabulary, material and supplies, rent and accommodation hired for security forces, raising of IR battalions, security works by Police Department are carried”, says MHA.
Former DGP M. M Khajooria, when contacted, said, “I never used a government vehicle after retirement. Even during my service, I never allowed my children to use the government vehicle.” “I cannot comment what others do,” stated the retired DGP. There are around 35 retired police officers over and above the rank of DIG, who are being guarded by over 2,000 personnel. Most of them are allotted police vehicles.
Over Rs 1 crore is spent per month on the security of retired police officers. “There is no documented policy to give security cover and vehicles to the retired police officers, as it is done on the basis of the threat perception”, said a police officer on the condition of anonymity.