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SP suspended after scuffle between police and Zehri’s guards

Updated July 19, 2013

QUETTA, July 18: A scuffle between police and private guards of Balochistan’s Senior Minister Sardar Sanaullah Zehri after the former stopped the guards from entering the premises of the Balochistan Assembly on Thursday led first to suspension of a superintendent of police by the chief minister and then to a notice issued by the Balochistan High Court on the action of the chief minister.

According to sources, an argument and a scuffle followed when the guards tried to force their entry into the premises.

Mr Zehri brought the incident to the notice of Chief Minister Abdul Malik Baloch who ordered the suspension of SP City Quetta Samiullah Soomro.

The chief minister’s directive led to protests by police personnel.

The matter was brought to the notice of the BHC chief justice who issued notices to senior officials, including the home secretary and the inspector general of police, to appear before the court on Friday. Talking to journalists, the protesting policemen said they had been instructed by Speaker Mir Jan Mohammad Jamali not to allow private armed guards of lawmakers into the assembly premises.

They said there was seating arrangement for private guards and other employees of lawmakers outside the building. A senior police officer said private guards were not allowed to enter the premises of the Parliament and provincial assemblies.

After the protest by policemen, Capital City Police Officer Mir Zubair Mehmood met the chief minister and said the suspension of the SP would demoralise his force.

The chief minister was of the view that Mr Zehri had tribal enmities and needed extra protection for which presence of private guards was necessary.

The CCPO did not talk to journalists when he returned after meeting the chief minister.

The policemen ended their protest after the chief minister and the speaker came out to meet them.