LAHORE: Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Umar Sheikh has opened a ‘Pandora box’ as he ‘challenged’ the powers of incumbent provincial police chief Inam Ghani in the transfer/posting of deputy superintendents of police (DSPs).
Mr Sheikh is of the view that the appointment of DSPs in Lahore should be the jurisdiction of the CCPO rather than the IGP.
While writing a letter to PPO Inam Ghani, he said the CCPO should be delegated the same power for the appointment of DSPs of his choice in the provincial capital.
Mr Sheikh wrote that such powers had been used by the regional police officers (RPOs) and the Lahore police chief in the past.
“The powers of transfer/postings of the officers in the rank of the deputy superintendents of police (BS-17) were delegated to all regional police officers/city police officers,” reads the letter.
Supporting his stand, Mr Sheikh asked the IGP to delegate him the same powers with a view to making a team and controlling the rising crime in the city.
“The previous practice is need of the hour these days to curb criminal activities in Lahore district,” the CCPO said.
At a meeting a couple of weeks back, Mr Sheikh had expressed his desire to be ‘powerful’ CCPO in the history of the Punjab police, an official claimed. “The fresh move is in the same context.”
“It is requested that the powers of transfer and posting of DSPs in Lahore district may kindly be delegated to the CCPO Lahore in the best interest of public safety and security,” Umar Sheikh was quoted as saying.
Some police officials feared that the CCPO’s new move might lead to another confrontation between the two top officers like Mr Sheikh did in the recent past while passing some ‘improper’ remarks against his former boss Mr Shoaib Dastgir.
On the other hand, a few others supported his step saying that decentralisation should be done for all regions, including Lahore.
Requesting anonymity, a senior police officer said it was practiced for a short period during the tenure of Javed Iqbal when he was the Punjab IGP .
He said at that time the Lahore CCPO and some RPOs were serving in BS-21 and [they] deserved to exercise these powers.
However, this scheme had backfired when it created some administrative issues, the official said.
He added that the incumbent CCPO was not only in BS-20 and posted against senior position of BS-21 but also had ‘aggressive’ personality trait.
To a maximum extent, these powers could be delegated to the newly-appointed additional IG South Punjab [a BS-21 officer] who was heading multiple regions under current circumstances, he suggested.
Another official supported the move saying that former IGP Sindh Kaleem Imam had delegated powers to the Karachi police CCPO to post SPs and DSPs.
When contacted IGP Inam Ghani said the matter would be resolved in the light of the police rules and regulations.
Published in Dawn, September 30th, 2020