LAHORE: A declaration signed by over 50 officers of the Punjab police has demanded disciplinary action against the newly-appointed Lahore Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Umar Sheikh and his immediate transfer for passing ‘insulting remarks’ against the outgoing provincial commander of the force, Shoaib Dastagir, and for ‘insubordination’.
Interestingly, all the senior police officers posted in Lahore, except a few superintendents of police (SPs), were among those seeking action against CCPO Sheikh.
They had gathered at the Central Police Office (CPO) on Tuesday to protest remarks of the CCPO against the outgoing IG police.
The unusual gathering at the CPO included senior police officers of the rank of additional inspector general (BS-21) and deputy inspectors general (DIGs), besides SSPs and SPs.
After marking attendance to register their support for (now former) IGP Dastagir, the officers expressed their utter displeasure and anguish against the new Lahore CCPO for his “unacceptable behaviour” towards the senior police command, including his then boss.
Sources said the declaration was prepared with the consent of all the police officers present there and signed it, in order to bring their “protest” on the record for the new IGP, for action against the CCPO.
The declaration (a copy available with Dawn) reads: “The officers of the Punjab police met at the CPO on Sept 8 physically and online. The officers discussed the matter of ill-discipline and misconduct committed by CCPO Umar Sheikh and its serious and adverse implications for the command structure and discipline in the police department.”
It states that after being posted as CCPO, Umar Sheikh on Sept 3 called a meeting of the officers of Lahore police.
“In the said meeting, Umar Sheikh expressed his intent to defy his IGP and used derogatory and abusive language against him and other officers in the presence of several police officers of Lahore police,” it reads.
According to it, in the said meeting Umar Sheikh showed utter “insubordination” and said the IGP had given him ‘C’ grade and declared him a corrupt police officer.
“He claimed that now he had been posted as CCPO Lahore through the “force of the stick” (danda) despite the opposition of the IGP Punjab”, it reveals.
It quoted Mr Sheikh as saying that the IGP’s order couldn’t be implemented and if such orders were conveyed to any officer, he would not act on them unless directed by him (CCPO).
“He also spoke about other senior offices in objectionable and derogatory manner because, in his opinion, they had impeded his promotion and caused his supercession”, further reads the declaration.
The joint statement of over 50 police officers accused Mr Sheikh of misconduct for committing insubordination by declaring his intent to disobey IGP’s orders, openly inciting officers for defiance of the IGP’s orders, bringing into disrepute the IGP’s office by making derogatory statements about the incumbent, bringing into disrepute the office of the Lahore CCPO by using incumbency to use abusive language against senior officers and inciting junior officers to defy lawful orders.
It also blamed Mr Sheikh for bringing into disrepute the armed forces by making derogatory remarks about ability and conduct of officers of the armed forces, violating the government rules and police code of conduct.
“Hence, we, the officers of the Punjab police resolve that the following actions need to be taken to restore the dignity of the office of the inspector general of police by declaring full support to the (the former) IGP by the government.”
They demanded removal of the “delinquent” Lahore CCPO Umar Sheikh from his present post immediately and initiation of disciplinary action against him under the given rules.
They asked the government to reaffirm its “commitment to the unity and sanctity of command in a disciplined force like Punjab police in order to enable it to discharge its duties efficiently and in public interest.”
The declaration warned that if disciplinary action was not taken against the CCPO “the discipline of the police department will suffer, the command structure of the police will be ruined and orders of the senior command will not be implemented by the junior officers.”
Meanwhile, as per some TV channels CCPO Sheikh convened an emergency meeting of police officers under his command late on Tuesday night and explained the prevailing situation to them, besides conveying his “policing agenda” to his subordinate.
Published in Dawn, September 10th, 2020