Police not ‘people-friendly’ despite official claims
* Many officials suspended for misconduct in last week
By Rana Tanveer, Daily Times, July 20, 2009
LAHORE: Despite claims by senior police officials of making the Police Department people-friendly and free of corruption, policemen continue to demand illegal gratification from the citizens during checking at the pickets and in the police stations, incidents in the last week indicate.
Punjab Inspector General (IG) Tariq Saleem Dogar and Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Parvaiz Rathore have time and again directed police officials to seek people’s cooperation in uprooting terrorism from the society. The IG and the CCPO have also issued several statements claiming that no corrupt official would be tolerated in the department.
The police have installed pickets on almost all roads of the city. Some policemen on motorcycles — some of these non-officials and without even number plates — were observed bothering motorists by stopping them at different points. The motorcyclists were not as troubled at the pickets as they were by the Mujahid Force personnel who intercepted them for interrogation. In incidents made public, police high-ups ordered action against responsible officials, but nothing was done in cases that were not reported, Daily Times has learnt.
Officials suspended: On July 12, Operations Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Chaudhry Shafiq Ahmad suspended five police officials, including an assistant sub-inspector (ASI), for bothering citizens at pickets without any reason.
In another incident on July 12, Saddar SP Rana Mansoor dismissed ASI Muhammad Aslam of Hanjerwal and Constable Liaquat of Chuhng for taking bribes and giving protection to a brothel respectively.
On July 18, the Operations SSP ordered an inquiry against SI Babar of Qila Gujjar Singh police for allegedly releasing a suspected Afghan terrorist Ghulam Rasool after taking a few thousand rupees. Punjab Police Special Branch had arrested nine Afghans from Nicholson Road, seized several fake identity cards from them and handed over the accused to the Qila Gujjar Singh police.
On July 18, at a police picket in China Chowk, some policemen thrashed a civil judge and a lawyer on the pretext of searching their vehicle and locked them in the Race Course police station.
On July 17, the IG, on citizens’ complaints, ordered disciplinary action against five police officials.
On July 17, the Operations SSP suspended Kot Lakhpat Station House Officer (SHO) Riaz Abbas on charges of misconduct, corruption and releasing a criminal after taking bribe. On July 16, a traffic warden was arrested for trying to take a two-day leave on a recommended application of his colleague.
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