Major reshuffle in Punjab police after ‘failure to contain TLP protests’

Authorities believe Lahore police is primarily responsible for aggravating crisis, allowing protesters to leave city

Muhammad Shehzad November 04, 2021
Police fire teargas shells on supporters of TLP during a march towards Islamabad from Lahore on October 22, 2021. PHOTO: AFP


Top police officers of Punjab have been transferred on Thursday for "failing to halt the protest march of the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), which left at least seven policemen martyred and scores injured.

The development comes two days after at least 60 police officers deputed on GT Road in Punjab’s Sadhoki to restrain protesters asked Punjab Police Inspector-General Rao Sardar to order an inquiry to ascertain responsibility for the “flawed security plan”.

Prime Minister Imran Khan and Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar had also expressed annoyance over the failure of the Lahore police to prevent the religious party workers from leaving the provincial capital.

Additional IG Fayyaz Ahmed has reportedly been appointed as new Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Lahore.

According to the official notifications issued on Thursday as many as 12 senior police officers, who were responsible for chalking out security plan and halting the protest rally of TLP, had been transferred.

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

DIG operations Lahore Sohail Chaudhry and DIG investigations Shariq Jamal are among the officers who have been transferred and asked to report to the Services and General Administration Department of the Punjab government.

DIG Shahzad Sultan has been posted as DIG investigations. He was serving as DIG headquarters.

CCPO Rawalpindi Ahsan Younis has been posted as DIG operations.

The chief minister office had pointed out the negligence of top brass Lahore police at three points – letting the protesters gather, failure to prevent the rally from leaving Lahore and poor intelligence gathering regarding the protesters' plan.

The demonstrators had stayed overnight in Lahore before leaving the city but despite having too much time police officials could not come up with a plan that could block the exit points of the city and prevent the workers from beginning their march on Islamabad.

In the recent meeting with the Punjab CM, PM Imran also raised questions over the poor performance of the anti-riot police force despite the government spending billions of rupees on the force.

The provincial government believe that the Lahore police department is primarily responsible for aggravating the crisis which weakened the authorities’ position to deal with the protesters.


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