LAHORE - DIG (Operations) Dr Haider Ashraf has issued a new Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for carrying out raids on guesthouses and hotels in the provincial metropolis, official sources said Thursday.

A police spokesperson said that the circular, in this regard, had been sent to all the divisional SPs serving in Lahore. All the field officers are strictly directed to ensure proper recce of the guesthouses and hotels before conducting raids to capture criminals on a tip-off. The concerned Station House Officer (SHO) is bound to constitute a special police team comprising upper subordinates for the recce.

After collecting credible information about the presence of criminals in a guesthouse or hotel, the SHO would have to get permission from the divisional SP and the Circle Officer before conducting a raid. An officer of the Inspector rank would lead the raiding party while policewomen would also be included in the team. The members of peace committees and media persons would also be informed about the raid.

There would be zero tolerance for any type of police torture or ransacking in the guesthouses. The policemen would have to behave politely with the children, women, and senior citizens. The policewomen would arrest the woman and they would be taken to women police station. Only lady police would carry out physical search of the women during a raid.

Police sources said that the initiative has been taken by the Operations police chief following public complaints regarding police torture on the accused persons in the premises of hotels and guesthouses. The new SOP would also help stop unnecessary raids on guesthouses in Lahore, where the police are doing this practice to minting money by harassing the owners of hotels and guesthouses.