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Politics, tenure claim two more DPO slots

December 18, 2012

LAHORE, Dec 18: Police authorities transferred two district police officers (DPOs) and made them officers on special duty (OSDs) on Tuesday.

According to a notification, Inspector General (IG) Habibur Rehman transferred four police officers, including DPOs of Hafizabad and Chiniot, to the Central Police Office of Punjab.

Hafizabad DPO Muhammad Waqas Nazir, Chiniot DPO Shahzad Akbar, Punjab Counter-Terrorism Department SP Karamatullah Malik and Sargodha Punjab Highways Patrol SP Maryam Naheed were the officers made OSDs.

Sources at the Central Police Office told Dawn that Hafizabad DPO Waqas Nazir was shown the door just in six months of his posting on ‘political’ interference. His Chiniot counterpart lost the office because of his ‘long’ service tenure – two years and three months.

Sources say the PML-N government transfers and posts DPOs viewing political connections and service tenure in a district.

Earlier, the DPOs of Sahiwal and Okara were also removed last month on the interventions of local PML-N leaders.

The sources said Mr Nazir had replaced SP Karamatullah Malik as Hafizabad DPO in June 2012. Mr Malik was made an OSD the same day.

They said the PML-N-led provincial government, though transferred Mr Nazir to appease local party legislators, tried to officially link the transfer with his failure to arrest the killers of a 14-year-old labourer.

A source at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat claimed both officers were made OSDs on the ‘orders’ of the provincial chief executive in connection with a sodomy-cum-murder of a child whose killers have not been penalised.

He said the chief minister took notice of the case in October which was lodged in January this year and directed the re-investigation of the case.

The local CIA police remained clueless in the case investigation. The investigation was then transferred to the Lahore police, which also failed to conclude it.

Later, the provincial home secretary held an inquiry into the police failure to trace the case and he ‘held’ former as well as the incumbent DPO guilty of ‘negligence’.

The source said the chief minister was conveyed about the inquiry on Monday last who directed transfer of both officers.

Police sources, however, said Mr Nazir started investigating the case after six months of the incident, got conducted chemical examination of swabs, and managed to arrest four suspects.

They said the lack of DNA evidence, which was not carried out timely, helped the arrested suspects get benefit of doubt in the investigation.

Sources said the case was not well taken in the tenure of former Hafizabad DPO, but the current DPO was punished for it.

They said Hafizabad DPO Waqas Nazir, who had got three appreciation letters from the IG in his six-month tenure for his achievements, was not informed about the reason behind his posting.

IG Rehman claimed he was not aware of the factors behind the transfers of both DPOs. He said he was out of the city and was not involved in transfers. Also, more transfers are on cards in other districts and the officers will be shown the door on multiple grounds.

Five police officers -- SSPs Sohail Akhtar Sokhaira and Captain Rommel Akram (retired) and SP Abdul Qadir Qamar -- are under-consideration for DPO offices.