The Kerala government has deployed State Industrial Security Force (SISF) personnel to handle the security of the Secretariat, as part of security measures being revamped. The modifications reportedly come after recent security lapses in the Secretariat where protesters from opposition parties managed to reach the main gate of the premises.
The complete security, including all the 102 existing posts of ‘secretariat security’ will be carried out by the SISF, which will be directly under the control of an officer not below the rank of Superintendent of Police, states an order released by Chief Secretary Vissaw Mehta. A Secretariat Security Committee will also be formed, chaired by Chief Secretary, to review improvements to the security system.
According to reports, five police officers were suspended following security lapses during a protest by Youth Congress on Friday, where protesters managed to reach the main gate of the Secretariat. Ever since the controversial gold smuggling case surfaced, opposition parties have led numerous protests across the state.
“The Secretariat remains the most sensitive institution in the state. In front of the Secretariat is a common venue for all sorts of public protest and strike by various sections of society, despite a ban order issued by the High Court,” reads the order. There is an urgent need to establish a proper security system, it added.
As part of the new security revamp, restrictions will be imposed on various entrances leading to the Secretariat. One gate will be exclusively dedicated to entry of VIPs and it will be segregated from the entrance meant for public and staff. A separate entry gate meant for the public will have strict security measures including security checks for people and vehicles. Visitors will be issued entry passes and will be escorted to their respective destination by security staff, and they will ensure the exit of visitors from the premises after permitted activity.
In order to ensure that no unauthorised persons and vehicles visit the Secretariat, an access control system will be put in place through facilities like biometric system, pass system and identity cards. The General Administration Department has been given the responsibility to install modern anti-sabotage equipment, scanner systems, CCTVs and security alarm systems.
The parking of vehicles inside the Secretariat premises and even outside the compound will also be changed, the order stated. It also adds that a proper ‘Fire Management Plan’ with a dedicated team will be implemented by the Director General of Fire and Rescue services, in order to immediately and effectively handle fire incidents. Many files in the General Administration Department were damaged in a recent fire outbreak in the Secretariat in August.
Watch video of protests: