LAHORE - The Punjab police is unbridled because of the government’s failure to set up public safety commissions required under the Police Order 2002 that led to the biggest sex scandal of Kasur, said a home department official.

The major function of such commissions was to take steps to prevent the police from carrying out any unlawful or mala fide orders or directions from any authority. The commission was also to evaluate the delivery of performance targets of police.

The Model Town massacre that claimed lives of 14 innocent people, besides leaving dozens wounded was also the result of lack of surveillance on police, the home department official added, quoting the joint investigation team report.

Requesting anonymity, he said despite wide condemnation of the biggest sex scandal unearthed in Kasur across the country and globe, not a single police official was suspended by the government. He said even after admission of the RPO that such incidents had been happening in the area, the police tried to dub it a land dispute, he held.

The sexual molestation of underage children is a big crime but closing eyes by the police following alleged political pressure or bribes is a much bigger offence, said the official.

A former Punjab home secretary also supported the stance of the officer and demanded setting up of safety commissions across the province. The absence of such commissions has given rise to a powerful force that could do anything for money or to please their political masters, the retired secretary stated.

The former bureaucrat said both the politicians and the police appear on the same page when Kasur scandal that jolted the entire nation is analysd. He said an MPA who was well aware of the child abuse ring in his area had reportedly put pressure on the police for the suspects’ release. The regional police, on the other hand, tried to hush it up instead of taking action against the abusers, he held. He sai he ordered many inquiries against the police officials who were involved in misuse of power, sexual abuse or other heinous crimes, but he could not recall such inquiries after Police Order 2002 was launched. After the autonomy awarded to police, one police officer defends the other’s misdeeds, he lamented.

When asked, noted lawyer Azhar Siddique categorically demanded the government to punish those police officers involved in criminal negligence that led to the shameful sex scandal, bringing ignominy to the country. He said under 155-C of the Police Order 2002 there was a major penalty for those officers involved in illegal acts. He questioned the Punjab IGP how many police personnel facing such heinous charges were convicted. Neither the police nor the political leaders want a parallel system of surveillance because both watch each other’s vested interests, he held.

Article 155 of PO 2002 says that any police officer who is guilty of any willful breach or neglect of any provision of law shall, for every such offence, be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and with fine.

The need is to set up police safety commissions as per the requirement of the Police Order 2002 as it is a common practice among advanced countries. The politically motivated postings must be shunned for the rule of law and supremacy of justice.