After lawyer Pallavi Purkayastha was murdered by her society watchman in Wadala in August, the role of security guards in the city is under severe scrutiny.
Security experts blame the loopholes in verification procedures and have asked the police commissioner and home department to have a consolidated data centre to verify their antecedents.
Security Association of India (SAI) president Gurcharan Singh Chauhan said 98% guards are innocent, poor people from a rural background without a criminal record, but one can’t take a chance.
“Police verification is very important. The government should create a data centre so once a person gets enrolled as a security guard, his antecedents can be submitted online to the controlling authority and get verified by the police.”
In a letter to home minister Sushilkumar Sinde and state home minister RR Patil in mid-October, SAI offered to sponsor the software/hardware of the centre where details such as photo, address, bio-metric fingerprints, etc can be submitted.
With only 21,000 guards employed with the Guard Board, the prevalence of 16 different controlling authorities for issuing licences in state also prevents the resolution of the problem of illegal agencies. Sources reveal that 400 agencies have no licences and 500 more have not even applied.
Operating without a licence can lead to a year’s imprisonment.