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‘Perks’ off after Shinde salvo

R.K Singh

New Delhi, Jan. 16: R.K Singh is the proud owner of nine dogs. But today, he may have felt the “bite”.

The former Union home secretary has lost one of his post-retirement perks — orderlies.

The move comes days after he alleged his ex-boss and home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde had blocked an IPL fixing probe against a businessman with suspected links to Dawood Ibrahim and later made false claims about moves to bring the fugitive don to India.

Shinde today spoke for the first time on the allegations but refused to “react” to the claims by Singh, who joined the BJP last month after retiring in June 2013.

“I do not see him (Singh) as a former home secretary but as a BJP man. I will not react to his allegations,” Shinde told reporters when asked about the allegations by the former IAS officer.

Singh may have seen a “reaction”, though, after around a dozen orderlies — personnel from paramilitary forces — were withdrawn from his duty.

“Security hasn’t been removed, only persons like cooks or dog-handlers have been removed. Usually, such deployment at the homes of key former bureaucrats isn’t official,” a source said.

The personnel were sent to Singh’s home as he was perceived to be under threat as he was in service at the time of the hanging of Afzal Guru in early 2013 and Ajmal Kasab in late 2012.

Typically, security continues for six months after an officer’s retirement, following which the arrangement is reviewed.

After retiring, Singh shifted from a bungalow in New Moti Bagh, an upscale government colony, into a second-floor flat in the same neighbourhood. There, the orderlies have been doing odd jobs, some taking care of Singh’s pets or helping in household chores.

Fond of dogs, Singh’s pack of nine includes black Pomeranians, some of which are often spotted moving around in the apartment block’s lawns with one of the orderlies.

Paramilitary forces also provide drivers or telephone attendants to key ex-bureaucrats and former police officers, all of it “unofficially”.

Since the deployments are not official, nor is their removal. In such cases, personnel are shown deployed in an area where the residence of an ex-officer is located, the sources said. “These things are decided at the highest level,” said a senior paramilitary officer.

Singh’s case may draw attention to other senior retired bureaucrats or police officers with orderlies, a practice seen steeped in feudal tradition.