LAHORE: The Lodhran district police have registered a criminal case against a head constable a day after he lodged a report against his boss (the district police officer) for allegedly facilitating an influential politician to occupy his (HC’s) high-priced land at a commercial centre.

The incident came to the limelight when constable Mazhar Iqbal in his police report alerted the high command that he would not wear uniform as protest unless his property was vacated from the influential persons. He stated in the police report that he had served the police for 20 years but his own department was supporting his powerful opponent -- an MNA -- and his men.

“Lodhran District Police Officer Abdul Rauf Qaisrani is facilitating MNA’s men to occupy my land,” reads the police report Mazhar Iqbal lodged against his boss.

He stated that he called emergency 15 when armed men of the MNA were occupying his land but ASI Liaqaut Ali who received the call refused him any help. Earlier in July, he stated, all inquiries carried out by police higher-ups and the Board of Revenue had declared his claim on land true.

As the report of the head constable reached the offices of the senior police officers, the very next day they had a case registered while nominating Mazhar Iqbal in the FIR on the complaint of his opponent Hashim Khan whom he had nominated in his police report.

The issue kicked off debate when it went viral on social media where people criticised the police officers of Lodhran for leaving the head constable at the mercy of influential political figures. The matter also came under discussion in the Police Service of Pakistan (PSP) circle in Punjab about the appointment of Abdul Rauf as the DPO Lodhran.

An official said Rauf was the only police officer from the 40th common who had been posted as DPO in Punjab while his senior colleagues from 39th batch were awaiting appointment as district police officer. He said his batch mates were serving across Punjab against relatively less important or non-field assignments.

Like, he said, his colleague from 40th common Furqan Bilal who has served as SP operations in Lahore against an important division is currently posted as chief security officer of the Punjab chief minister, Malik Imran is serving as Lahore SP headquarters, Maaz Zafar as SP Investigation Okara and retired Capt Mohammad Ajmal is serving in Special Branch Punjab.

Similarly, Rashid Hidayat and Dr Anoosh Masood Chaudhry have also served against several important posts in Punjab. Currently, Mr Hidayat is serving as SP Dolphin in Lahore, Dr Anoosh Masood Chaudhry is on leave while another police officer Bilal Qayyum is serving in National Highways and Motorways Police (NH&MP).

While talking about the 39th common, the official said no one from this senior batch of the police officers was posted DPO as this process was restricted to the 38th common. From the 39th common, he said, Syed Zeeshan Haider was serving in NH&MP, Faraz Ahmad as SSP Investigation Faisalabad, Asif Ameen Awan as SSP Operations Gujranwala, Sardar Mavarhan Khan SP Investigation Toba Tek Singh, Dr Fahad Ahmad SSP/Battalion Commander Rawalpindi, Syed Ghazanfar Ali SSP Investigation Rawalpindi while Naseeb Ullah was serving in Counter Terrorism Department, Punjab.

The official said that many police officers from the 38th common were also yet to get first posting as DPO in Punjab, raising a question as to why the junior police officer from 40th common was ‘accommodated’ by the Central Police Office.

The Multan Regional Police Officer and other officers say the Lodhran DPO is one of the finest officers in Punjab. They say he had served in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and his performance was widely commended.

Abdul Rauf Qaisrani told Dawn that he had no personal grudge against his subordinate. He, however, declared him a notorious character in Lodhran saying a former DPO also got a criminal case lodged against the head constable when he tried to occupy a disputed land. He was suspended many times, he said.

Published in Dawn, October 25th, 2021

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