LAHORE - The Lahore police department last week approved posting and transfer of 40 inspectors as station house officers in different police stations of the metropolis.
Many corruption-tainted officers are among those given ‘new assignment’ under the new government in Punjab. Like previous governments, many SHOs got important positions by using their political connections. Interestingly, all new SHOs are inspector-rank officers. They have been serving as SHOs in Lahore for the last one decade.
According to a notification, DIG (Operations) Shahzad Akbar ordered the new transfers and postings last week. A police spokesman claimed all the new postings were made on merit.
Inspector Javed Siddique was transferred and posted as Islampura SHO while Qamar Abbas was posted as South Cantonment SHO. Similarly, Muhammad Javed was posted as Batapur SHO, Ali Ajwad as Mustafabad SHO, Waseem Akhtar Sarwar Road SHO, Hussnain Haider as Factory Area SHO, Raheel Amjad as Gujjarpura SHO, Rai Nasir as Mughalpura SHO, Nabi Bakhsh as Old Anarkali SHO and Tahir Zain-ul-Abideen as Mozang police station SHO.
Also, Inspector Rehan Jamal was transferred and posted as Ghalib Market police station SHO, Mudassar Ullah as Ichra SHO, Rizwan Nawaz as Model Town SHO, Sajid Nazeer as Shadman SHO, Faisal Abbas as Kahna SHO, Mian Qadeer Ahmed as Faisal Town SHO, Atteeq Dogar as Nishtar Colony SHO, Asad Bukhari as Gulberg SHO, Zahid Nawaz as Sanda SHO and Adeel Saeed as Gulshan-e-Iqbal police station SHO.
Inspector Manzoor Ahmed was posted as Muslim Town SHO, Muhammad Akmal as Wahdat Colony SHO, Mushtaq Ahmad as Shahdara Town SHO, Naeem Yaseen as New Anarkali SHO and Maqsood Ahmed as Tibbi City SHO.
Zaheer Uddin was transferred and posted as Masti Gate SHO, Yousaf Butt as Data Darbar SHO, Zahid Hussain as Akbari Gate SHO, Muhammad Arham as Shahdara SHO, Intikhab Hussain as Yakki Gate SHO, Shahid Ali as Shafiqabad SHO, and Tahir Akram as Ravi Road police station SHO.
Meanwhile, Nasir Gul was posted as Rang Mahal SHO, Munawar Ahmed as Bhaati Gate SHO, Ahmed Adnan as Mochi Gate SHO, Tahir Mahmood as Gawalmandi SHO, Muhammad Sarwar as Lohari Gate SHO, Rehan Zia as Township SHO, Amir Iqbal as Mustafa Town SHO and Muhammad Afzal as Manga Mandi police station SHO.
These transfers and postings were second largest reshuffle in the police department during the last three months. In July, the caretaker government had also transferred all the SHOs of Lahore police stations to ensure free and fair elections.
The police department claims that all the postings and transfers are made purely on merit but the field officers are given key postings on someone’s recommendations only. In the Punjab province, the station house officers and circle officers are posted on the “request” of MNAs, ministers and other influential individuals.
Like the previous regime, the powerful parliamentarians are virtually running the affairs of the police department. The DPOs and RPOs are being appointed by the chief minister himself while the DSPs and SHOs are posted on the orders of ministers and influential politicians. Corruption is rampant in the police department because of such transfers and postings policy.
In Lahore, every police station has been sold out. Most of the station house officers (SHOs) collect ‘monthly’ from brothels, guesthouses, drug dealers, and gambling dens operating in different parts of the provincial capital.
Many SHOs are posted at high-income police stations only for a couple of months. Senior police officers are also part of the problem.
Lahore is divided into six police divisions with over 100 police stations and police posts.
The police stations including Data Darbar, Nolakha, Qila Gujjar Singh, Lorry Adda, Shafiqabad, Shadbagh, Baghbanpura, Shahdara, Defense-A, Nawan Kot, Shera Kot, Satu Katla, Badami Bagh, Factory Area, Kot Lakhpat, Ravi Road, and Nishtar Colony are considered A-plus police stations from where SHO can generate millions of rupees every month.
Similarly, Iqbal Town, Johar Town, Nawab Town, Ghalib Market, Shahdara Town, Misri Shah, Garhi Shahu, Bhatti Gate, Gowalmandi, Tibbi City, Lohari Gate, Manga Mandi, Sabzazar, Hanjarwal, Kahna, South Cantonment, North Cantonment, and Chuhng police stations are said to be A-one police stations with high crime rate and high-income.
The SHOs also collect reasonable income from the B-category police stations which included Samanabad, Wahdat Colony, Millat Park, Gulshan-e-Ravi, Shalimar, Gujjarpura, Islampura, Manawan, Sanda, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Mustafa Town, and Masti Gate, Harbanspura, Batapur, Gulberg, Faisal Town, Ichhra, and Ghaziabad police stations.
There are a good number of police officers who are serving as SHOs in different police stations for the last several years. They are suspended and even dismissed from service on corruption charges many times but they get back postings successfully.
Police officials including Faisal Sharif, Mazhar Iqbal, Rashid Amin Butt, Sharif Sindhu, Muhammad Ali Butt, Zulfikar, Amir Saleem, Umar Rasheed, Ahsan Ashraf Butt, and Tahir Ikram are a few examples.
In their campaign manifesto, the PTI leaders had pledged the much-needed police reforms. Since politicians are virtually running the affairs of the police department, the talks of police reforms in near future seem unrealistic. This transfer and posting policy also indicates that the PTI leadership is no more serious in improving the policing.
The police stations having highest crime rate are regarded as the “best police stations”. In such stations, the policemen collect huge monthly income from narcotics dealers and those running brothels or gambling dens.
Most of the SHOs collect ‘monthly’ from brothels, guesthouses, and gambling dens. The monthly income of the high-income police stations varies from one million to three million rupees, depending upon the numbers of brothels and gambling dens located in the area.
Extortion by the police is a routine matter and many foot constables are seen accepting bribe from hawkers, passersby and roadside food stalls etc. This has to stop. The new government must take bold initiatives to flush the corrupt mafia from the police department. The top police officers should be given freehand and all postings and transfers should be made on merit. The old and corruption-tainted SHOs must be removed and new officers should be given an opportunity to serve the public through a merit-based policy.