ISLAMABAD - Thousands of policemen deputed across Islamabad to provide security cover to thousands of marchers are having sleepless nights.

Long working hours, absence of proper rooms and hygienic food and above all unpredictable weather are disturbing thousands of policemen. This correspondent witnessed large number of policemen of Punjab sleeping on green belts along roadsides. In police stations too things are not satisfactory. Lucky cops who somehow managed to get place in police stations of Islamabad complain about unavailability of rooms, beds and mattresses.

“We have been spending sleepless nights in Islamabad for the last one and half weeks. Most of us spend nights in fighting with insects and mosquitoes on green belts of Islamabad,” a cop of Punjab told The Nation on Sunday. He was one of thousands of policemen of Punjab who landed in Islamabad on the request of Islamabad district authority to provide security cover to marchers.

Policemen who have come from Punjab and other stations on the request of ICT authorities said that they were expecting better facilities during their stay in Islamabad. However, ICT administration failed to meet their expectations.

“We were under the impression that our host in Islamabad would treat us nicely. It was shocking to see that they even did not provide us basic facilities including rest rooms,” Qaiser Iqbal, 26-year-old police constable, complained. Salman is one of thousands of policemen who sleep on green belts. Even they are denied of basic facility of washroom. “Look sir my colleagues and I are forced to take risk of going into nearby jungle to meet our needs. Who will be responsible if animals attack us?” Salman questioned.

Lucky cops who found space within police stations are also passing through the same trauma. They are forced to sleep on rooftops and keep their belongings in the open. “We are not given proper rooms, what to talk about other facilities. It is not an easy job,” Constable Masood Alam said.

A senior officer of ICT police admitted that policemen who have come from Punjab and other areas are facing long working hours and poor facilities.

Reportedly, hundreds of policemen, mostly from Punjab, have fallen ill and according to Polyclinic spokesperson, 1,200 cops were treated in the hospital.