RAHIM YAR KHAN:
Dozens of residents of Taranda Muhammad Pannah on Saturday staged a protest demonstration against the transfer of the station house officer.
The protesters chanted slogans in support of Inspector Shahanshah Chandio and demanded that he be immediately re-posted to the same office. They also staged a sit-in on National Highway, holding traffic for several hours. The protesters were holding placards rejecting Chandio’s transfer. A complete shutter down strike was also observed in the area.
The protesters had arrived at the Highway in the form of a rally that begun at Abu Bakr Chowk.
Talking to The Express Tribune, the protesters said there had been a considerable improvement in law and order situation since Chandio took charge of the Taranda Muhammad Pannah police station. They said there was no corruption complaint against the police during Chandio’s tenure. “The police started listening to our complaints after Chandio’s appointment,” Mehrab Khan Abbasi, a protester, said. Abbasi said before Chandio police officials frequently misbehaved with complainants and treated them as lesser citizens. He said Taranda residents would continue organising protests until Chandio was reinstated to the office. He said future demonstrations would be held in front of the offices of the district and regional police officers in future.
The protest was attended by representatives of several traders’ bodies, political parties including PML-N, PPP and JI, religious groups such as Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan and student bodies.
The protest continued for over six hours. The protesters dispersed after SP Liaqatpur Saeed Ahmed Khan assured them that the department will look into the matter and take necessary action to address their demand.
Rahim Yar Khan district police officer Sohail Zafar told The Tribune Chandio’s transfer decision was taken in accordance with the rules and regulations of the department. He said the decision would not be revoked.
The DPO said transfers and postings were a routine matter. He said it was not appropriate for the department to base such decisions on citizens’ protests. He said Chandio was relieved of his duty as the SHO of Taranda Muhammad Pannah police because his services were needed in the crackdown on criminals in the katcha area.
Chandio was not available for comment.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 8th, 2012.