LAHORE: The Punjab government on Saturday transferred Chief Traffic Officer (CTO) retired Capt Liaquat Ali Malik and posted him as senior superintendent of police (SSP) admin in Lahore.

Mr Malik was facing an inquiry following complaints by the journalists community regarding his “controversial order” to traffic wardens to make videos of their colleagues while issuing them fine tickets in the provincial capital.

Following his instructions, the wardens uploaded several video clips of journalists on social media with humiliating comments, creating unrest among the community. Journalists lodged protests against the practice, terming it a violation of human rights.

This situation also led to physical brawls between wardens and the journalists, as the later resisted the move while traveling on city roads. A video clip showing a warden misbehaving with Lahore Press Club President Arshad Ansari on a road near the Governor House also surfaced.

Following frequent incidents of targeting of the journalists community by wardens, the media persons boycotted the proceedings of the Punjab Assembly, demanding Malik’s transfer. The Punjab government had formed a committee headed by Law Minister Raja Bahsarat to probe into the allegations levelled by the protesting journalists against Malik. The committee had given an assurance to senior journalists that the CTO would be removed if the inquiry found him guilty.

The government transferred Jhelum DPO Syed Hammad Abid and posted him as new CTO of Lahore. Chief Minister Office Security SP Umar Farooq was transferred and posted as Jhelum DPO.

Published in Dawn, February 16th, 2020