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Price tag for police vigil

- Private event managers in Sikkim have to pay for security

Gangtok, June 18: Police protection at private events in Sikkim will come at a price from now.

Event management companies wanting security at the programmes will have to hire policemen.

The police department has also fixed the rate for deploying the men in uniform and home guards.

“Now organisers will have to pay charges that have been fixed for hiring each guard or officer. There are many states which charge for the deployment of police personnel for any kind of programme,” a senior police officer told The Telegraph.

A notification issued by the state government earlier this month said private event management firms had to pay Rs 1,800 for hiring a sub-inspector, Rs 1,200 for an assistant sub-inspector, Rs 1,100 for a head constable, Rs 1,000 for a lance naik and Rs 250 for a home guard.

The charges are for 12 hours of vigil.

“This is applicable only for events that are commercial and profit-making. No charges would be taken for any kind of government event or those organised by students or charity organisations,” said S.D. Negi, the additional director general of police (law and order).

“Event organisers have to write to the office of the superintendent of police of the district concerned where the event is going to be held and the payment has to be made in advance to the State Bank of Sikkim in favour of the revenue head of the police department,” said an officer at the police headquarters in Gangtok.

The notification has got the event management firms worried as this would mean more expenses to hold live shows.

“We have to pay 25 per cent of the total ticket costs as entertainment tax to the urban development and housing department. Paying police personnel would add to our expenditure. But we have to abide by the government notification and the best way is to lessen the deployment of policemen,” said Amit Gurung, the managing director of Gangtok-based Alpine Altitude Event Management Company.

A source in the Sikkim law department said there were around five-six event management companies in Gangtok that organise programmes on a regular basis.

“I think that there should be a complete package of the deployment fee rather than individual break ups. It is hard to find sponsorship in Sikkim and the deployment fee will add to our problems,” said Rakesh Somani, the managing director of SK Audio-Vision based in Gangtok.

Police sources said no event management company approached the police with a requisition after the notification had been issued.

“Sometimes policemen have to go out of the state to arrest accused persons in civil cases. In such circumstances, the party that has complained has to bear the cost, including food, lodging and transportation of the personnel,” said a senior police officer.