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Friday, August 10, 2012

Unchecked watchmen guard city residences No Laws Framed To Verify Security Agencies


Mumbai: The murder of Pallavi Purkayastha by the guard of her building has brought the focus on the security agencies that supply watchmen to protect the residents. With most of the agencies operating without a police licence, the question is if there are rules to look after the welfare and employment of the security guards then why are there not laws to verify their credentials. 
    The watchman who murdered Pallavi was supplied by Ahmed Hamid Enterprises and it was running the business with just a BMC licence known as gumasta, police sources said. The crime branch has ordered an inquiry into its registration and licence details under the Private Security Agencies Regulation Act (PSARA) 2005. 
    "Absence of stringent licensing measures is resulting in flourishing of such guards and agencies. In fact, to set up an agency, no police licence is required," said Y P Singh, police officerturned-lawyer. 
    There are about 15,000 security agencies operating in the state, mostly in Mumbai, that are running the service without any proper licence. "There are only a few agencies that are imparting quality training. Every agency should be mandatorily asked to fulfil 16 different criteria for licence under PSARA and a separate licence for training," said S Salaria of TRIG Securities. 
    Brigadier Jaisinghani of TOPS Security said normally, before appointing any security guard, he should be 
given 20 days training involving 100 hours of classroom training and 60 hours of outdoor or onsite training including mock security drills. "Soft skills to handle 
people and stress management tactics should also be imparted," he said. 
    The other issue is that most of these guards are from rural Uttar Pradesh, Bihar or Jammu and Kashmir, and they struggle to handle the huge cultural differences. Psychiatrist Dr Narendra Kinger said guards come 
from remote areas. "These people stay alone with seveneight people and are disturbed and frustrated. After 12 hours of work, they cook for themselves. Not so educated, they can't tolerate the dominance of women. Agencies do not check their mental and physical condition regularly," he said. 
    Salaria said most of the agencies do not take care of the guards and this leads to frustration and irritation among them. "The agencies should try to understand and resolve their problems and keep them stress-free," he said. 
    Salaria said ensuring proper weekly offs to the guards without stressing them much on duty plays an important role in managing their physical and mental condition. "Licensed agencies do not recruit guards without police verification but in case of others, one cannot be very sure," he said. 

City falls short of safety gadgets 

    While the city has seen a rise in high-rises and high value properties, when it comes to loosening its purse strings for safety and security systems to ensure a risk-free life, Mumbai lags behind. P9 



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