LAHORE: A shocking report compiled by the Punjab Police has brought to light the involvement of at least 234 police officials in running or patronising the illegal drug business across the province.

The report terms these police officials drug “sellers” and “facilitators”, shedding light on the menace of drug peddling which has been a challenge for the successive governments and destroyed thousands of families whose members, including underage children, became addicts.

The confidential report was prepared by the surveillance branch of the Punjab Police and sent to the inspector general (IG) for further action.

It reveals that police officials, from constable to inspector ranks, are mostly involved in patronising the trade or sale of charas, heroin and Ice, ruining the younger generation. According to the report (a copy also available with Dawn), some 225 police officials have been declared “facilitators”, while others were drug ‘sellers’.

Faisalabad district tops with 58 such officials

It ranks Faisalabad district police on the top in the province for having 62 of its officials involved in the illegal drug trade. Of them, 58 are the facilitators and four sellers. Faisalabad police have registered 24 cases against such officials.

In Bahawalpur district, 40 police officials have been termed “facilitators”, but no case has been lodged against any of them so far.

The report states that 30 police personnel were involved in drug selling and patronising from Lahore, 26 from Sahiwal, 23 from Sheikhpura, 21 from Gujranwala, 20 from Kasur, 19 from Chiniot, 18 from Multan, 11 from Rahim Yar Khan, 10 from Toba Tek Singh, six from Rawalpindi, five from DG Khan etc.

It also mentions the names of the police officials involved in the illegal activity, along with their service record and tainted profiles. Many of these officials were posted in various police stations despite the fact that they were involved in backing and facilitating drug trade, it adds.

The report clearly says that some police officials have been found possessing drugs on duty, besides patronising gamblers and drug peddlers after receiving bribe from them.

It mentions a station house officer (SHO) posted in Kasure, who used to take monthly bribe from big drug dealers and gamblers of the city during his posting there.

“Apart from this, instead of arresting the criminals and taking action against them, the SHO used to release them after taking bribe, due to which the fear of the law was completely disappearing among the criminals”, reads the report.

About another police official from the same district, the report says he would receive bribe from drug peddlers to provide them prior information about any police raid to help the criminals escape arrest.

The report says that the father of a serving policeman of Pakpattan, who himself had retired from the police service, was also involved in drug sale in the area.

Similarly, it says, a personnel of Okara police was taking bribe every month from notorious criminals who were in the list of top 20 drug peddlers of the district.

The report also briefly discusses the role of some other police personnel who have been patronising and facilitating drug business in the areas falling under their respective jurisdictions.

Published in Dawn, March 30th, 2024

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