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ISLAMABAD: A year after Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan suspended him for indiscipline, SSP Asmatullah Junejo of Islamabad police has been cleared of all charges

A Cabinet Secretariat notification issued at the conclusion of the disciplinary proceedings initiated against him in June under the Government Service (Efficiency and Discipline) Rules 1973, says “the Establishment Secretary/Authority has been pleased to exonerate Mr. Asmatullah Junejo from the charges/allegations leveled against him.”

While the officer would be treated “on duty” during the suspension period - January 1 to June 22, 2015, it is not known if he will be restored in his old post of SSP Operations.

Police sources said the officer was suspended the day after he ordered the arrest of a religious leader and his eight gunmen for illegally carrying arms. But they were released on bail granted by an area magistrate who came to the police station for the purpose.

Annoyed at the release of the men, the interior minister scolded the Islamabad police hierarchy, which blamed SSP Junejo for the incident, according to the sources.

SSP Junejo and the SHO of Shahzad Town, where the men were kept, were subsequently suspended.

However, the sources gave no reason for the five-month delay in starting the disciplinary proceedings against the accused officer.

Interestingly, the bodyguards of the religious leader, Mufti Tanveer Alam Farooqui of the Rawalpindi chapter of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) group, were in police commandoes’ uniform when they were stopped at a checkpoint, jointly manned by police and the Rangers, at Tramri Chowk in Islamabad on December 31, 2014.

A police press later that day said: “The accused, including Mufti Alam, were treated softly by police and separate cases were registered against them under Arms Ordinance.” Significantly, it added that the police were of the view that the ASWJ accused were not displaying weapons when they were intercepted, so case could not be registered on charge of weapon display.

However, two days after his suspension, SSP Junejo told a news conference that heavy weapons, including illicit SMGs, were recovered from the men.

Intervention by a federal minister got him reinstated, but in the ministry of information. Later he was transferred to the Railway Police.

A departmental inquiry recommended disciplinary action against four other police officers but not SSP Junejo who was found innocent in the release of the arrested persons.

“Mufit Farooqui is a proclaimed offender and wanted by the Rawalpindi police in two case,” a police officer quoted the inquiry report as saying.

Published in Dawn, December 30th, 2015