LAHORE - Punjab Government has denied access to close relatives of eight patwaris detained at Bahawalpur jail in violation of not only the jail manual, but also of the human rights, reportedly on the verbal orders of Punjab Chief Secretary Javed Mahmood, who wants to give a lesson to 'key officials' of the Revenue Department merely for lodging protest against the excesses of their seniors. It has been learnt reliably that Punjab chief secretary issued verbal instructions to the Punjab Home Secretary, DCO, Bahawalpur and Jail Superintendent concerned not to let even the family members of the detained Patwaris meet them, come what may. The relatives of these revenue officials are running from the pillar to the post to meet their kin in jail, but to no avail. According to details, the district administration Bahawalpur on verbal instructions from the Chief Secy detained eight patwaris under 16 MPO some 10 days back when they tried to stage a protest rally against what they termed unjust treatment being meted out to them by their seniors. After a few days, close relatives of the detained Patwaris approached Superintendent, Central Jail Bahawalpur to seek time for a meeting, but he declined their request outright, saying that he was not competent to do so. He asked them to get permission from the Punjab Home Secretary, who, according to him, was the competent authority in that case. A brother and a cousin of detained general secretary of Anjuman-e-Patwarian, Malik Zahid Afzal, came to Lahore to get the required permission from Home Secretary Nadeem Hassan Asif, who also refused to oblige, saying, it came in the purview of the DCO concerned and the Superintendent Jail and only they could do the needful. The verbal instructions of the CS in this particular case have virtually rendered the Home Secretary, the DCO and the Jail Superintendent to abdicate the powers they have been granted by the law. When contacted for Govt's version, Punjab Govt's spokesperson and DGPR, Mohayyuddin Wani said that Jail Superintendent concerned had the powers under Jail Manual to arrange interviews of detained persons with their families within permissible limits of law. He also denied reports that Punjab Government had issued any verbal instructions to the Jail Superintendent regarding the issue in question. The Government had not yet received any complaint from family members of detained Patwaris in this regard, Wani further stated.