LAHORE - Staff at the welfare department of the city police works several hours on-line to prepare, process, and pursue the cases of fallen heroes. The widows, children, or parents of police martyrs just need to send an SMS to the welfare section.

The department has been providing all possible help to the families of police martyrs ranging from education to employment and health to housing. The provincial government approved a special compensation package for the victim families after Taliban stepped up suicide attacks on the largest law enforcement agency.

After being hit by Taliban attacks, over one hundred policemen got retirement on medical grounds in recent years. Dozens of policemen including senior officers also lost their lives while fighting back terrorists in Lahore since 2017.  “The families don’t need to visit this office now. Once we receive an SMS, we start working on the request to help the families,” said Faisal who leads the on-line welfare section established at the Civil Lines police headquarters.

At least 304 policemen were martyred in Lahore and 735 others died during service, he explained. Similarly, at least 101 policemen were declared invalidated after they got retirement on medical grounds.  Under the welfare policy, three types of families are provided cover including those who sacrificed their lives in the line of duty, those who died in service, and those who were retired on medical grounds.

As many as 504 cases received on the Welfare Eye have been addressed since June 2017. The cases were related to group insurance, financial assistance, housing, dowry, Guzara allowance, scholarships, pensions and GP fund.

Lahore SSP Rana Ayaz Saleem, who is supervising this project, told The Nation that the “Welfare Eye” is working efficiently and all the families are getting services at their doorstep without any difficulty. “The families can lodge their complaints anytime by using android-based application,” he said. The officer said that the initiative was launched to ensure hassle-free services for the families of police martyrs. “Last year, a delegation of the Sindh police visited the Lahore police headquarters get awareness about state-of-the-art Welfare Eye Software. After the successful launch of the project in Punjab, the Sindh police have also decided to introduce this mechanism in their province so that the families of martyrs could be facilitated efficiently.

The Punjab government last year notified a revised package for Punjab police martyrs.

Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif had approved the new relief package for police officials who lay their lives in the line of duty. Those who sacrifice their lives during active armed police operations against terrorists, when targeted during service or after retirement by terrorists on account of their previous operations or investigations against terrorists, or in terrorist attacks or bomb blasts will get a lump sum package.  The amount under this head is: DIG and above Rs20m, SP and SSP Rs18m, inspector and DSP Rs15m, ASI and SI Rs12.5m and constable and head constable Rs10m. The families of those who fall in encounters including in bomb blasts, riots, watch and ward duties and terrorist activities will be given a separate package.

The heirs of DIG and above officers will be given Rs15m each, SP-SSP Rs12m, inspector and DSP Rs9m, ASI and SI Rs7m and constable and head constable Rs5m each. The heirs of both types of martyred officers will be allowed to retain the official residence under their possession till their retirement age.

They will also be granted funding for purchasing houses as per the following rate: DIG and above Rs50m (one Kanal), SP and SSP (12-marla) Rs30m, inspector and DSP (10-marla) Rs25m, ASI and SI (seven-Marla) Rs17.5m and constable and head constable (five-Marla) Rs13.5m.  The families of officers in the rank of SP and above will be given a 1300cc car or equivalent amount (Rs2.1m), inspectors and DSPs 1000cc car or equivalent amount (Rs1.2m).

The families of the DIG and above officers will be given a monthly transport allowance of Rs100,000, of SSP and SP Rs75,000, DSP and Inspector Rs50,000, SI and ASI Rs35,000 and constable and head constable Rs20,000. The families of police officers will be allotted residential plots in the federal government housing schemes.