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Lahore police Old faces back on key posts

June 24, 2013

LAHORE, June 23: The Capital City Police has once again got old faces on key posts, including SP Muhammad Umer Virk.

Two senior police officers, Chaudhry Shafique Ahmad and Muhammad Tahir Rai, who were transferred from Lahore before the elections, had already rejoined the Lahore police (after the election).

According to a notification issued on Sunday, acting inspector general of Punjab Police, Khan Baig, transferred Punjab Counter-Terrorism Department SP Umer Virk and posted him as Lahore Crime Investigation Agency SP vice Khalid Masood, who was transferred and posted as Lahore Saddar SP (investigation) against an existing vacancy. Earlier, he has held the post of City SP (investigation) also.

Sialkot Additional SP Muhammad Awais Malik was transferred and posted as Lahore Saddar SP (operations) against an existing vacancy.

The two officers, who were part of the Punjab Police, had already worked in Lahore in the field before the recent elections. Virk was CIA SP, and Malik was Model Town SP (operations).

A source privy to the development told Dawn Capital City Police Officer Chaudhry Shafique Ahmad had recommended the two officers for the top slots. He said Virk, who had got a regular promotion as additional superintendent of police in 2007 and most of whose promotions were on shoulders, had been posted the CIA SP again. The post was considered lucrative and attractive for its unbridled powers to investigate high-profile cases and make recoveries besides investigating terrorism cases.

Most of the batch mates of Virk, who had joined the Punjab Police as assistant sub-inspector, had reached the rank of deputy superintendent of police, he added.

The source said though Virk, who had been enjoying being posted in CIA most of the time from 2007, had somewhat been able to trace high-profile cases, but incidents of police brutality, corruption and misappropriation in recoveries had increased in his time.

He said during Masood’s tenure, corruption in CIA ranks had been reduced but the ratio of tracing high-profile cases like kidnappings for ransom, robbery with murders was less.

The source said some old faces like SP Imtiaz Sarwar could also be posted in Lahore police. Currently, the post of Civil Lines SP (investigation) was lying vacant, while at least two posts of DSPs might fall vacant shortly.

Acting IGP Khan Baig, when contacted, said he would comment over the posting of the CIA SP on Monday (today). When asked if Virk had become indispensable as the CIA SP, he said no one was indispensable for any post.

The Punjab Police spokeswoman, while quoting the IGP, said Virk’s transfer was a routine matter. She said Virk had got a regular posting as SP in 2007, but she did not know about his previous promotions.