The Railway police managed to regain possession of a sprawling property from a serving DIG police after 14 long years on the orders of the Federal railway minister Khawaja Saad Rafiq.
The bungalow, No. 218-B, is a 1,500 square yards property situated on Adam Road, Railway Colony, Clifton Cantt. It was allotted to DIG Shahab Mazhar Bhalli 14 years ago when he was posted as the Railway Police SP. Bhalli, however, was later transferred but refused to vacate the property.
It was only when the apex court took notice of the matter that Rafiq ordered Railway IG Syed Ibn-e-Husain to get the property evacuated at the earliest. The IG assigned the task to SP Jamshed Hamid, who sought assistance from Karachi South police and conducted a joint operation to get the property vacated. The relevant railway superintendent also accompanied the team.
“The main problem was that he was a serving DIG,” said Sohail Shaikh, the Railway Divisional Superintendent Technical. “We have tried to get the property vacated several times in the past but we were unable to because DIG Bhalli had filed a petition for the stay order.”
SP Hamid, who has now been allotted the bungalow, seemed happy. “I am from Punjab and was transferred to Karachi two and half months back,” he said. “I was living in a single room but I was ok with it since my family was not living with me but now I will call my family to Karachi.”
At least 500 policemen from the Railway police, district South police and railway employees were present at the time of the raid. “We went there with extra contingent as we expected resistance,” said district South SSP Nasir Aftab. “But fortunately we faced none and DIG Bhalli handed over the bungalow.”
DIG Bhalli, who was transferred to Frontier Constubalary after his stint with the Railway police, has served on several senior positions and is currently serving as DIG Traffic Hyderabad. He was posted as Railway SP between December 1999 and April 2000.
DIG Bhalli, meanwhile, objected to the raid and said that it was unauthorised as no judgment has been passed on his petition and alleged that the Railway police took action against him on behalf of the registrar.
“I have been paying the house rent, commercial rent and maintenance charges and my bungalow was much better maintained than all other Railway bungalows,” he said.
“The problem was that they jacked up the commercial rent rate by 1400 per cent from 5,000 to 65,000 and asked me to pay Rs9.4 million which is an injustice because I have been paying my dues regularly.”
DIG Bhalli further said that Railway officials have tried to expose him as if he was a fraud and have tried to give the whole episode a different angle.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 31st, 2013.
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