LAHORE: The Lahore police authorities have changed all the station house officers (SHOs) posted in the provincial metropolis, following an order of the Election Commission of Pakistan, (ECP) to ensure neutrality of police in the upcoming elections.
However, more than 50 SHOs, who were posted during the tenure of PTI-PML-Q in Punjab, were retained, but were transferred from the police stations they had been heading presently.
The police high-ups also posted the police inspectors and sub-inspectors (SIs) in the field again, who were removed and closed to the Police Lines in the wake of the May 25 Azadi March staged by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) last year.
These officials had recently been cleared by a high-profile commission, constituted to probe into their conduct on May 25, of various charges, including misuse of power, illegal detention and torturing or thrashing the PTI workers.
After their clearance, they were shortlisted and those finalised were assigned new postings in Lahore.
Meanwhile, in a related development, Lahore investigation DIG Sohail Akhtar Sukhera also changed heads of the investigation wings of all the police stations of the city.
An official said the massive reshuffle at the police station level in the provincial capital was made a couple of days after the caretaker Punjab government completed the appointment process of all the regional and district police officers across the province.
He said the Lahore police highs-up closed the transferred SHOs to the Police Lines till further order, replacing them with the officials who were awaiting postings.
The official said it was ‘mandatory’ requirement of the ECP to make appointment of officers to ensure neutrality in the conduct of elections.
Following the ECP’s order, Lahore Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Bilal Siddique Kamayan had directed Lahore Operations DIG Afzaal Ahmad Kausar to implement it.
He said Mr Kausar constituted a committee of senior police officers, including Lahore admin SSP Atif Nazir and Operations SSP Sohaib Ashraf, to carry out the reshuffle at police station level. The DIG had also sought services of Lahore Chief Traffic Officer (CTO) Mustansar Feroze for the purpose, as he had served as Lahore operations SSP and had a thorough knowledge of the profiles of the inspectors and SIs, including their experience to head police stations.
The committee, he said, worked for two weeks or so, shortlisting over 100 inspectors and SIs, mostly from 2003 and 2007 batches. It also included several police officials from the 2013 batch, the official said.
He said the short listed officials were interviewed and then finalised for posting in Lahore as SHOs. The list of these officials was also sent to the ECP, which granted approval for their posting as SHOs.Sources said all the newly-appointment SHOs and heads of the police stations’ investigation wings have assumed their new charges.
Published in Dawn, February 6th, 2023
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