LAHORE, Nov 28: The provincial police chief on Wednesday posted former Okara District Police Officer Usman Akram Gondal as Lahore Sadar SP (Operations) against an existing post on Wednesday.

Mr Gondal, was transferred from Okara by the provincial government a day earlier, reportedly succumbing to political pressure, and was directed to report to the Central Police Office. He has already served as Lahore Sadar SP (Investigation) and Lahore Civil Lines SP (Operations) for brief periods in May and July 2012, respectively, before being posted Okara DPO.

Sources at the Central Police Office told Dawn the only notification issued by the DIG (Headquarters) office yesterday was of Mr Gondal’s transfer.They said the authorities had yet to finalise the name of new Okara DPO and the ‘look-after charge’ was currently with Sahiwal Regional Investigation Branch SP Ehsaan Manzoor.

The sources said names of two SSPs -- Mujahid Akbar (principal candidate) and Gohar Muhstaq Bhutta -- had been sent to the Chief Minister’s Secretariat for final selection.

Mr Akbar (26th Commoner) is currently working as Faisalabad SSP Investigation and Mr Bhutta (28th Commoner) is Bahawalpur SSP Regional Investigation Branch.

The sources said the IG after realising that senior officers were not being posted as district police heads had started recommending their names for such slots. The posting of SSP Sarfraz Ahamd Falki (27th Common) as Pakpattan DPO a few days ago was also the part of the IG’s strategy to appoint senior officers in the field, they added.

They said a couple of districts, including Gujrat, would also witness changes in police leadership in the days to come. A list of SSP-rank officers (who have never been posted DPOs in Punjab) available at the IG Office includes SSPs Sharik Kamal, Mujahid Akbar, Kamran Yousaf Malik, Captain (retired) Sajjad Hussain Manj, Imran Mehmood and Mian Muhammad Ali Nekokara.

The sources added it was likely that Mr Gondal would not assume the new charge because of his recent posting as DPO, adding that officers usually avoid junior posts after serving against a senior position.

The post of Sadar SP (Operations) has been lying vacant for the last 35 days and Sadar SP (Investigation) Muntazir Mehdi is holding the additional charge.

During the period, the IG posted SPs Shakir Hussain Dawar and Ameer Abdullah Niazi as Sadar SP (Operations), but both officers failed to assume the charge due to one or other reason.

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