PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa home and tribal affairs department on Thursday ordered the “psychological assessment and security profiling” of police personnel across the province.

It also issued orders for an inquiry into the Swat school van shooting on Tuesday.

The development came after a policeman posted outside the Sangota Public School in Manglor, Swat, allegedly opened fire at the school van killing a student.

“In view of the firing incident on a school van of Sangota Public School, Manglor, on May 16 at 13:50 hours reportedly by a police constable assigned security duties, it would be appropriate that all personnel assigned such duties in public places (as well as others) undergo a security profile and psychological review,” read a letter sent by the home department to the provincial inspector general of police.

It also forms panel to investigate Swat school van shooting

The department requested the police chief to direct all concerned to undertake that review urgently and said such assessment after every six months should be made part of the standard operating procedure.

When contacted, former additional inspector general of police Syed Akhtar Ali Shah said that psychological review of the police personnel used to be carried out in the past annually with their results mentioned in their annual confidential reports.

He said there used to be the police personnel’s annual “screening for mental and physical health issues and medical examination” in the past, but that was no more the case.

Mr Shah said a psychiatrist was part of the police recruitment process and that the supervising officer kept an eye on police personnel under his command and informed his high-ups after observing something unusual.

Also in the day, the home department notified the formation of a committee to hold a detailed inquiry into the Sangota school van shooting allegedly by a police constable.

The committee comprising the additional secretary judicial of the home department and deputy inspector general (investigation) will submit its report on the incident in the next four days.

According to the notification, the terms of references for the inquiry included the “service profile of constable Alam Khan, who allegedly opened fire at the school van, along with his posting details.”

“Dig out any health issues Khan is facing, especially any psychological illness. Moreover, to review the doctor/psychologist from whom the accused was getting medical treatment,” it read.

It added that the inquiry committee should check if the accused has any family troubles and disputes.

“The committee will seek details of the constable’s profile, especially on facts like his contacts with desirable elements, proscribed organisations and other adverse aspects, if any, from the police department’s special branch.”

The notification said the investigators would look into the laxity on part of the relevant deputy superintendent of police (headquarters), reserve inspector, and line officer of the Swat police lines and see why they all were ignorant about “unstable condition” of constable Khan and why he was given such a sensitive duty and that, too, with a weapon.

Published in Dawn, May 19th, 2023

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