ISLAMABAD: Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Najeebur Rehman Bugvi continues supervising the policing in the capital despite his transfer orders which arrived on August 31.

Usually officers do not take long to leave for their next posts after their transfers are notified but Bugvi has not relinquished the charge of SSP operations yet.

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The police high-ups are reluctant to relieve him ahead of Muharram, a month during which maintaining the law order is the top priority for the force. Sources said Bugvi had gone to the Central Police Office the same day his transfer was notified to relinquish the charge but his bosses wanted him to delay charge-relinquishment.

It is learnt that the SSP is destined to join the team of former inspector general Nasir Durrani who, after his retirement as IG Khyber Pakhtunkhwa last year, is now being tasked by the PTI government to reform the Punjab Police. Sources said Bugvi’s transfer was not unannounced or sudden, rather he had been informed beforehand and his consent was also taken. The officer is likely to continue in his position until the Ashura is over, after which he would be relieved to go to Punjab police.

Old wine in new bottle

On Tuesday, police bosses changed almost all the SHOs and Moharars at capital police stations hours after Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Afridi ordered them to introduce ‘new faces’ at police stations. The minister visited the police headquarters on Tuesday where he was briefed about the working of the capital police. Afridi resolved to reform the capital police on the lines of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa police and as the first step he directed the high-ups to introduce ‘new faces’ for public dealing at police stations.

Within hours, all the SHOs and Moharars were changed. However, instead of introducing ‘new faces’ the high-ups hoodwinked the minister by shuffling the same group of officers across capital police stations.

There are around 300 inspectors and sub-inspectors working in the operations division who are eligible for appointment as SHOs but only a small group of officers have been occupying the posts for years.

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The same bunch are reshuffled every few months, and new entries are few and far between. On Tuesday, 22 new heads of police stations were appointed but only two of them were really new, SI Iqbal Gujjar who was appointed SHO Tarnol and ASI Samina Sarwar who was made SHO of the women’s police station.

The rest were the same group of SHOs moving from one station to another. Most of these SHOs are from the 1983 batch of directly-recruited ASIs. The next such batch came in 2005, most of whose members are still ASIs and thus not eligible to become SHOs.

An official said that most of the SIs in police today were those who were recruited as constables and rose through the ranks. “It’s the 83 batch some of whose members are DSPs today and some are still inspectors.

After a few years when 2005 batch members are promoted, we will see more new faces heading police stations,” he said. 

Published in The Express Tribune, September 6th, 2018.