TLP march: Police officials demand inquiry into ‘botched’ security plan

Dozens of officials write to IGP, question conduct of senior cadre and provincial govt

Muhammad Shahzad November 02, 2021
A file photo of Punjab police. PHOTO: EXPRESS


At least 60 police officers deputed at GT Road in Sadhoki to restrain Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) protesters have asked Punjab Police Inspector-General Rao Sardar to order an inquiry to ascertain responsibility for the “flawed security plan”.

Police officials in Hafizabad, who were facing the protesters on frontline, called for holding the senior cadre responsible.

In a letter written to the IGP on Tuesday, the personnel criticised senior officers, district police and other law enforcers for the “botched plan”, resulting in death of at least seven cops.

They termed it mandatory to constitute a committee comprising senior officials to identify those showing 'cowardice' in the intense situation.

The officers asked as to why the back-up force did not show up when the frontline was making attempts to push back the protesters.

The committee, they added, should also ascertain whether the security plan matched the requirements, and if simply replicating the plan of other security branches was feasible in the case at hand as well.

Also read: PM says deal with TLP only solution to ward off bloodshed

The personnel also demanded registration of a criminal case against those responsible for putting the lives of the frontline officials in danger.

“It is the time that instead of running the department on bureaucratic orders of individuals, it is run on scientific grounds,” they maintained in the application, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune.

One of the officers of Hafizabad police, SI Khalid Nawaz Warya explained in the letter that he, along with 60 other policemen, thwarted the movement of a large number of protesters and pushed them back over a kilometre.

However, after two hours of clashes, supplies of tear gas shells and other equipment started to deplete. He added that the clashes had also resulted into injury to his fellows.

The officer revealed that the backup force ran away from the scene and took shelter behind containers. As a result, the forward force also had to make a retreat from the front.

Meanwhile, IG Rao Sardar held a meeting at the Central Police Office (CPO), wherein he lashed out at the senior officers for bringing bad name to police, and issued a warning to ‘incompetent officials’.

Also read: Punjab govt releases hundreds of TLP workers

The role of police officers from Lahore, Sheikhupura and Gujranwala was pointed out on the occasion.

Moreover, the meeting was told that Prime Minister Imran Khan had asked Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar reasons how the protesters managed to exit Lahore despite presence of forces like the Anti-Riot Force (ARF).

The failure of Lahore police at three points to stop TLP supporters outside their headquarters, inability to stop their movement inside Lahore over the passage of two days and failure of the reinforcements at Sadhoki GT Road was highlighted at the meeting.

The participants also inquired about the performance of the intelligence wing of Lahore police.

Senior police officers have also reportedly held the provincial government responsible for its unclear policy of dealing with the protesters.

The command also expressed reservations over the signing of a deal with TLP leadership, while ignoring the loss of lives of the police officers during the protests.


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