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    HPCA to be charged for providing security during IPL matches

    Shimla: In a major setback to Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on Sunday said the association would no longer provide security for the IPL matches free of cost as HPCA is a commercial organisation.

    The HPCA headed by Anurag Thakur, MP and son of former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, will have to clear the earlier dues amounting to about Rs 2.36 crore and will be charged for providing security for coming IPL matches, he said while talking to mediapersons at Kangra. The HPCA was not charged any money for providing security during the BJP regime and the HPCA was headed by Tahkur and as per the information procured by RTI activist, Debasheesh, the expenditure on security incurred by the state government on the matches held at the HPCA stadium in 2010, 2011 was Rs 2,36,51,852.

    Virbhadra Singh said the government would charge for security for any commercial event and this practice is not only in Himachal but practiced all over India as a rule that security is not provided free of cost for any commercial event. "The government would appropriately charge for police security during IPL matches as these are commercial events," he said. "The role of police is to maintain law and order and not work for the business tycoons and if any organisation is holding any commecial event, than it is our right to charge for the services provided by the government," he said, adding that "why should the government bear the expenditure if they are earning from th event".

    "Earlier, it was the domestic rule of the organisers, but this time they should abide by law," said Virbhadra. Urban Development minister Sudhir Sharma, who was accompanying the chief minister, said the previous dues must be cleared first for availing the security this time.