Security turns to insecurity: Opposition wants debate over police occupation of BHU

Published: September 28, 2017
Punjab Police. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Punjab Police. PHOTO: EXPRESS

LAHORE: Opposition benches sought a debate over the hooliganism of police officials who were occupying the basic health unit of Lakhoki village where a picket had been established.

Opposition leader Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed submitted an adjournment motion in the Punjab Assembly, claiming women patients, who approached the basic health unit, were suffering in their movement due to the presence of police officials.

He said the police were meant to safeguard the lives and properties of citizens, but a section of the press claimed that these were the very officials who occupied a basic health unit. He said it was interesting that the police had the property vacated from land grabbers before taking it for themselves.

He said in his adjournment motion that it was in Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shehbaz Sharif’s constituency where tall claims to eliminate “thana culture” were made. “However, the ground realities are completely different.”

Rasheed sated the most of the rooms of the basic health unit were under the control of police officials, while no proper place was left for patients who approached these facilities. He alleged women were suffering a great deal due to the presence of police officials.

He stated that the drug trade was also prevalent in the basic health unit and it was astonishing enough that a former PMA had also been occupied this unit for several years, but no action had been taken against him.

He said residents had been complaining to the authorities concerned about the occupation of police officials, but it was all in vain as nobody seemed willing to take action. The opposition leader added locals were demanding that the hospital be freed from the clutches of police officials.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Sub Inspector Muhammad Imran said the notion that women were disturbed by police presence was incorrect. He said police officials left the BHU every day at 8am to patrol the area and returned at 2pm when the BHU was closed. He said there was no doubt women would be uncomfortable due to their police picket, but asserted the cops would leave early and before the arrival of patients.

When asked why the chowki was set up there, he said it had been in place since 2013 as the Kahna police station’s picket was far away. “By the time police reached a crime scene, the criminals had already disappeared.

He said the area was a hub for criminals, gamblers, land grabbers and drug peddlers. When asked if the department was shifting the picket elsewhere, he said it would be done soon as police officials were also uncomfortable as they had no privacy due to the hospital.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 28th, 2017.

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