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No building for torched police station 31 months on

Updated January 07, 2015

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— Dawn
— Dawn

SAHIWAL: The plan to reconstruct the Chichawatni police station building remains an unfulfilled dream even more than two and-a-half years after its destruction.

The police station building was set ablaze by a mob which was protesting against loadshedding in June 2012. A PML-N legislator allegedly led the mob against the then Pakistan People’s Party government.

PML-N’s Chaudhry Arshad Jutt promised to bring Rs2.2 million grant from the Punjab government for the reconstruction of the city police station but nothing has been done so far.

The city (Chichawatni) police station was housed in an 18-marla rented building of the Auqaf Department on GT Road. The building was right in the middle of city and citizens had easy access to it. In 2012, the PML-N government in Punjab started an aggressive campaign against loadshedding for which it blamed the federal government of PPP.

PML-N activists at the district level with the blessings of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had organised rallies against unscheduled loadshedding and there were many instances of damaging public property. At one such protest in Chichawatni, a mob ransacked the city police station and set fire to the building resulting in massive damage to the furniture and office paraphernalia.

The police nominated people in the FIR but failed to effect arrests because of ‘political pressure’.

An investigation officer informed Dawn that an MPA at that time supported the culprits.

The district police shifted the city police station to the newly-constructed building for the Saddar police who were working in a pre-partition building (constructed in 1935).

City police SHO Rana Asif confirmed that the situation remains unchanged. The Saddar police are denied shifting to the new building meant for them for the last 31 months.

Arshad Jutt, who was again elected on a PML-N ticket as MPA in the 2013 election, has failed to go by his commitment of ensuring provision of Rs2.2 million funds for the city police station building.

Social circles, Markazi Anjuman-i-Tajran chairman Sheikh Abdul Ghani and Jamaat-i-Islami’s Haq Nawaz Durrani have demanded that the city police station building be shifted back (in new building) because of its easy access.

Umar Farooq, senior advocate at the Chichawatni tehsil court, said the city police station was far from urban area and lawyers and their clients had to face problems due to distance.

Arshad Jutt told Dawn he was trying to get funds for the city police station project.

Sahiwal DPO Syed Khurram expressed his ignorance about availability or otherwise of the funds.

Published in Dawn, January 7th, 2015

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