Terror-proof security by
private agencies long way off
By Maitreyee Boruah
Dec 8 (IANS) Notwithstanding the Karnataka government's suggestion
that major private firms in Bangalore arrange their own security,
it could remain a dream for a long time as private security
providers in India's tech hub say they are ill-prepared and
poorly-equipped for the task.
planning to revise our entire working system," said Narendra
Kumar Sharma, director of Vigilance 24X7 Security and Allied
Services Pvt Limited, located in upscale Indiranagar, around
10 km from the city centre.
that would take us some time. Moreover, we would need better
weapons to fight terrorists as they are using latest technologies,"
Sharma told IANS.
for single and double barrel guns, private security guards
in the country are not allowed to use weapons like assault
rifles and pistols," said P. Ravindranath, chairman of
Private Eye (P) Ltd, also located in Indiranagar.
is sad that we are still managing with outdated weapons,"
he said, adding that though the Private Security Agencies
(Regulation) Act 2005 has regularized the industry, a licence
to get sophisticated weapons was not being granted.
and Ravindranath were among the private security providers
that IANS spoke to on their preparedness following Chief Minister
B.S. Yeddyurappa's suggestion that all major private organisations
and business establishments in Bangalore should themselves
look after their security.
made the suggestion at a meeting with heads and representatives
of leading IT and BT firms, multinational companies, hotels,
shopping complexes and industry and commerce chambers following
the Mumbai attack Nov 26.
faced its first major terror strike when the sprawling, leafy
Indian Institute of Science (IISc) was attacked in December
2005 during an international conference. M.C. Puri, Professor
Emeritus of the Institute of Technology, Delhi, was killed
in the indiscriminate firing and four were injured.
the second attack in July this year, a series of eight low-intensity
explosions hit the city, killing one woman and injuring 15
city too has experienced terror attacks in recent times. Thus
we cannot take any risk. It is better that all the private
companies and business establishments in the city too take
care of their own security and become more vigilant,"
said M.R. Pujar, additional commissioner of police, Bangalore
city (Law and Order).
police too is doing its duty, but we don't have that kind
of massive force to provide security to thousands of companies
and residential complexes in the city," he said.
the Mumbai attack, all major private firms, hotels and shopping
complexes and malls in the city have beefed up security. Many
are installing CCTV (Closed circuit Television), metal detectors
at entrances and other gadgets.
are receiving queries from different corporate houses and
residential complexes," said S. Suresh, manager of Penguin
Security Services and Enterprises, located in New Tharagupet.
there is no official figure on the number of security firms
operating in Bangalore, unofficial estimates put it at around
most cases, the guards provided by these agencies are not
armed. Even in the few establishments where they carry arms,
they are basically small weapons, which are no match to AK-47s
which the Mumbai attackers carried.
for allowing private security agencies to procure sophisticated
weapons, Ravindranath said: "We are one of the highest
tax payers in the country and the government needs to revise
laws to make private security agencies stronger as the security
force is not enough to man the entire country."
agencies get their men trained mostly by ex-army men or retired
police personnel. Youngsters between 20 and 25 years are generally
recruited by these agencies and they remain in service so
long as they are fit and are not above the age of 45.
job is highly demanding and thus we recruit young blood and
they work with us till they are fit. Retirement age is generally
not fixed. Some agencies give retirement to their employees
by the time they reach 45," said K. Balasubramanium,
business manager of Alert Security Agencies, located in Richmond
Road in the CBD.