Wednesday, June 29News That Matters

Punjab Home Guards Commandant General quits

Jupinderjit Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9

KS Ghuman, Commandant General of the Punjab Home Guards, resigned today, alleging that he was being spied on and had suffered vilification and harassment at the hands of the state Home Department.

In a related development, the Finance Department’s letter to the Home Department that the Home Guards Department was being wound up triggered panic among the nearly 12,000 Home Guards in the state.

In his resignation letter to the Chief Minister, Ghuman alleged that some bureaucrats, especially of the Home Department, had been planning to destroy the Home Guards cadre. He said as he was the first officer from the cadre to be elevated to the top post of Commandant General, the bureaucrats’ lobby was harassing him for the past one year on one issue or the other. He said he was personally hurt at the way the Home Department spied on his activities and foreign visits.

He said they sought details from the Union Home Ministry on his recent foreign visit as if he was a criminal. He said he was even chargesheeted without a show-cause notice for “travelling abroad without taking permission of the Home Ministry”. “This is absurd as no government official can travel abroad without the approval of the department concerned. But I am sick of fighting these officers, who only want to undermine my cadre and personally damage me. I am thus putting in my papers for my mental peace and health,” he wrote in the letter, seeking pre-mature retirement. Separately, the Finance Department’s letter that the Home Guards department would wind up soon triggered panic today. The letter dated July 23 was in response to a request for posting of a law officer by the Home Guards Department. The Finance Department said no new posting could be done as the Home Guards Department was winding up.

The bureaucratic circles were abuzz today with the two issues. Officials in the Home Guards Department could not be contacted. A senior government official insisted that “Home Guards were a dying cadre” but to say the government was winding it up was wrong. “Dying cadre means there would be no fresh recruitment,” he said. The home guards are not permanent employees of the government but they work full time with the police. Each police station has 6-10 home guards attached with it.

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