DADU: Sindh Inspector General of Police A.D. Khowaja has made an apology to teachers on behalf of police department for use of force to break up their protest in Karachi and advised them not to adopt such means of protest that violate laws or create inconvenience for general public.

Teachers deserved great respect for they were role models for their students and society at large, therefore, they should stage protests in such a way that their pupils and admirers could feel proud of them, said the IGP while speaking to journalists after inaugurating a reporting cell at A-Section police station on Friday.

He said the ‘red zone’ which comprised Supreme Court, assemblies and Bilwal Houses was declared by Sindh government and not police. As long as teachers were protesting before the press club, police showed them utmost respect but when they tried to enter the red zone, the law had to take its course, he said.

About police torture on farmers, he said that farmers too were highly respectable for police but it was wrong of them to block the National Highway, which created untold difficulties for general public, especially ambulances, which stuck up for hours in traffic snarl-ups caused by their protest.

On his reaction to recent moves by Sindh government to replace him, the IGP said that he had no differences with Sindh government, which had indisputable powers to approach federal government and demand posting of a new IGP.

He said that he was bringing improvements in police department to make it more efficient and public friendly. Many steps had been taken to improve law and order situation in Sindh during his tenure, he said.

Asked about police’s behavior with public, the IGP said that police’s attitude could change for good when they would not have to worry about education, health and other basic facilities of their families and children.

He said in answer to a question that there was no political interference in police department during his period.

About dismissal of constables, the IGP said all the constables who were recruited illegally were dismissed from services following directives of Supreme Court. He could not protect them because there were various lacunas in their appointment procedure, he said.

The IGP said later at a gathering of citizens at Citizens Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) in Dadu police station that Sindh police had directed all SSPs to establish CPLC centres to keep in constant touch with public.

Published in Dawn, January 6th, 2018