LAHORE: Despite frequent cases of child abuse and other crime, the Central Police Office and the Punjab government seem least interested in the provision of a reform package for Kasur that was promised by Prime Minister Imran Khan to make it ‘model district police’.
Announced some two months back, the package was related to the restructuring of the Kasur police by providing human resource, logistic support, transport and funds.
During his visit to Lahore after the arrest of ‘serial killer’ involved in murder of minor boys in Kasur, the prime minister had announced overhaul of the district police to make the city of four million people safe.
An official told Dawn that the PM had announced a package during a marathon meeting in Lahore which was attended by the chief minister, the chief secretary and the IGP besides other officials of the province. Following the PM’s decision, he said, a series of high-level meetings was also held at the CPO on the overhaul of the Kasur police to address chronic shortage of resources to materialise the scheme.
Consequently, a list of demands was prepared and submitted to the IGP with a request to address these at the earliest. The Punjab government seem to have dumped the scheme as nothing has been done on the project despite the passage of two months or so, the official said.
The Lahore police refused to spare 51 sub-inspectors/assistant sub inspectors to put them at the disposal of the Kasur police. From amongst the list of demands put up by the Kasur police, the prime requirement was the provision of 87 fresh graduate SIs and ASIs for their posting as SHOs and investigation in-charges at the 20 police stations besides posting others against vacant slots.
The Kasur police had sent a request through a letter on Nov 7 through the CPO to the Lahore, Sahiwal and Gujranwala regions for the provision of these 87 officials.
“Enclosed please find a list of 87 SIs (Lahore 51), Gujranwala (28) and Sahiwal (8) who were recruited as T-SIs through Punjab Public Service Commission Lahore for their selection to be posted as SHO/Incharge investigation in Kasur district,” reads the Kasur DPO’s letter.
The DPO further requested that kindly intimate to all the above-mentioned officials to reach Kasur by Nov 11.
However, the Lahore CCPO refused to spare the police officials citing law and order issues and shortage of human resource in the city.
“The requisitioned SIs/T-ASIs are not experienced enough to meet the requirement of field duty including public dealing as SHOs and Lahore itself is facing acute shortage of 175 in strength of SIs/T-ASIs,” reads the letter of the CCPO addressed to the IGP Punjab.
Therefore, it is requested that the Lahore police are unable to spare 51 SIs/T-ASIs for further transfer to any other district, it said.
Besides, the official said, the Kasur police had also demanded 40 vehicles for the 20 police stations and the funds to bear the cost of the investigation of the cases.
For murder and other reported heinous crimes, per case cost was estimated to be Rs40,000 that included Rs8,000 for documenting crime scene and Rs12,000 DNA cost. For other cases, the cost of investigation ranges between Rs10,000 and Rs15,000 against each one.
The Kasur police had also demanded allocation of Rs100,000 monthly funds for each police station to meet daily expenses, he said.
Despite chronic shortage of staff and other resources, the Kasur police are putting in their best to fight crime in the city.
A two-month performance report of the Kasur police since the arrest of the alleged serial killer of boys in Chunian on Oct 2 was lauded by senior command of the police. During that period, 80 missing children were recovered and reunited with their parents.
The report said the community liaison officers had been appointed at all police stations of Kasur to bridge the gap between the public and police. During this period, the police teams surveyed 12,000 houses and the families residing there to keep them in contact with the area police for better policing. The police teams included 300 assistant sub-inspectors who carried out survey despite lacking transport and budget resources, said the official.
The Kasur police also identified 3,000 ‘known bad characters of the city’ and prepared their profiles on the information obtained through surveys and intelligence reports regarding their involvement in sexual offences.
According to the report, the complaint redress percentage also improved from 19.4 to 78.14 during these two months.
Even after lapse of two months, the Kasur police are awaiting a package to achieve the required targets as promised by the prime minister.
Additional IG Operations Inam Ghani confirmed to Dawn that the mega project announced by the prime minister was yet to be completed.
“Since Kasur has been a sensitive district for having child abuse cases, the project announced by the prime minister requires support of both federal and provincial governments,” Mr Ghani said, adding that it was delayed due to change of command in the Punjab police.
“Newly appointed IGP Ghulam Dastagir has put Kasur’s project on priority and would take up the matter with the chief minister to seek special funds and other missing facilities,” he said.
Published in Dawn, December 9th, 2019