In response to perceived threats, Pune city police have provided armed security to Saurav Ray, the director of defence estates, Southern Command.
The heightened security measures come in the aftermath of the old grant bungalow fraudulent sale and sealing case, a controversy involving the sealing of four bungalows in the Pune Cantonment area, collectively estimated to be worth ₹350 crore, with fifteen more under scrutiny by the Defence Estates Office (DEO), Pune Circle.
The security detail was initiated based on threat perceptions associated with Ray’s involvement in the case. Pune Police Commissioner Retesh Kumaarr confirmed the provision of an armed policeman as security, highlighting the sensitivity of Ray’s current role in overseeing the sealing of defence bungalows. The move was made in response to Ray’s request, considering his past assignments in sensitive positions within central government departments.
Saurav Ray, an Indian Defence Estates Service (IDES) officer of the 1994 batch, has an extensive background, having served on deputation to the cabinet secretariat, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) from 2003 to 2016. He also held the position of the custodian of enemy property for India from August 2020 to May 2023. Between 2016 and 2019, he served as the director of Defence Estates at Eastern Command, Kolkata.
Ray, in his current role as the director of defence estates, Southern Command, has taken a firm stance against the fraudulent sale of old grant bungalows in the cantonment area. The sealing of bungalows and the subsequent investigation have stirred controversy, leading to the need for heightened security for Ray due to perceived threats. The situation underscores the complexities and challenges associated with managing and safeguarding defence properties in the region.