KARACHI: A severe traffic jam was witnessed on II Chundrigar Road after dismissed police officials launched a prolonged protest in front of the Central Police Office (CPO) on Wednesday. The protest could only be brought to an end after six hours through mediation. The former Sindh inspector-general (IG) Ghulam Haider Jamali and two former senior superintendents of Police (SSPs) had appointed 1,800 police officials illegally in Sindh from the year 2013 to 2015. One former SSP was also sentenced to 10 years imprisonment by a court.
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Due to the protest of the dismissed police officials, the police shut down both the roads from Tower to Uni Plaza which caused a traffic jam at Tower, MA Jinnah Road, Bolton Market, Native Jetty Bridge, Shaheen Complex and their adjoining roads.
The protesters claimed that they were inducted in the Rapid Response Force from Sukkur, Dado, Badin, Larkana, Hyderabad, Nawabshah and other cities on merit. They had received training and some of the dismissed officials, had even earned prizes in shooting competitions. They said that for the past three years, the Sindh police officers and the government were making excuses. They vowed to continue to protest until they received their appointment letters.
The protesters said that a letter had been released from the CPO on August 29, 2018, which said that the interviews would be held in the CPO on September 5. They further said that upon reaching CPO, they learnt that the letter was fake. This is why they had no option but to protest, they added.
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Lyari Superintendent of Police (SP) Iftikhar Lodhi and Mitahdar Station House Officer (SHO) Naeem Ahmed tried to negotiate with the protesters but the protesters refused to budge, after which the Welfare Additional Inspector-General (AIG) Ghulam Azfar Mahesar met a five-member delegation of the protesters and apprised Sindh IG Amjad Javed Saleemi of the situation.
Saleemi issued directions that the Sindh AIG Aftab Pathan hear the appeals of the dismissed officials within three days and act in accordance with the law. When the delegation of the dismissed employees came out after talks, their colleagues refused to accept the decision but by this time, half of the protesters had dispersed. The remaining ones too left an hour later.
The citizens weary of the protest lost their patience and started removing the barriers placed outside the CPO. The police officials helped. After around six hours, the II Chundrigar Road was open again.
According to sources, the former IG Ghulam Haider Jamali, former Logistics AIG Tanveer Ahmed Tahir, former Finance AIG Fida Hussain Shah and other officers had illegally appointed 1,800 police officers. An inquiry by the National Accountability Bureau had also declared the appointments illegal and all the illegal appointees were dismissed from duty. The court awarded 10-year imprisonment to former Logistics SSP Tanveer Tahir while cases against other officers are underway.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 6th, 2018.