NAP-related police operation stopped after raids on PML-N UC chairmen outhouses
FAISALABAD: Police combing operation has been suspended in the district for a month allegedly since the force recovered illegal weapons from outhouses of three ruling PML-N union council chairmen, and two top police officers had to hold a pacifying meeting with these local representatives none of whom was booked for the crime.
Police had launched the operation just a few days after a military operation in Faisalabad.
On Sept 11 last, police raided the outhouses of three UC chairmen belonging to the ruling party — Rana Israr, Mohsin Saleem and Pervez Kamoka — and claimed to have recovered weapons of prohibited bores, including Kalashnikov guns.
The police did not dare to book even a single UC chairman for possessing illegal weapon.
Sources said raids were part of the combing operation carried out by the police to net the criminals who were also wanted by army.
Officers had to be ‘apologetic’ for recovering illegal weapons
They said after conducting these raids and recovering illegal weapons, the police officials had to face criticism from the ruling party parliamentarians who were patronising these chairmen.
Though the army operation was still going on in the district, police were not actively pursuing their targets fearing wrath of ruling party influential politicians, the sources added.
Two of these chairmen — Rana Israr and Mohsin Saleem — talking to reporters the other day threatened to submit their resignations if action was not taken against the policemen who ‘dared’ to raid their outhouses.
They also criticised the parliamentarians for remaining silent on the issue.
Owing to political and departmental pressure, two top police officers had to hold a meeting with the “disgruntled” PML-N chairmen to pacify them and give an assurance that action would be taken against the policemen responsible for conducting raids on their outhouses, the sources said.
However, a police officer seeking anonymity denied giving such an assurance to the chairmen, saying the meeting was held on the request of these local representatives.
Though three FIRs — 836, 837 and 838 — had been registered with the Madina Town police on Sept 11 following the raids, instead of the three chairmen whose outhouse were raided, three others — Arif of Nawan Lahore, Bilal of Dijkot and Mudasar of Samundri — had been booked for possessing illegal weapons.
The police showed in the FIRs that weapons were recovered from the three suspects while they were standing along different roads.
Ijaz Virk, a former MNA and local PML-N leader, said it was unfair to pressurise senior police officers into holding a meeting with such elements and pacify them, adding it was tantamount to turning the department spineless. He said the reputation of these chairmen was already questionable.
Mr Virk said the police operation against such anti-social elements could not be stopped without instructions from higher-ups. He alleged that some local parliamentarians had approached the PML-N leadership with the argument that such raids would hit their “political stature” in the area.
He said the police raids were part of the National Action Plan (NAP) and should go on unhindered.
City Police Officer Afzaal Kausar, however, dispelled the impression and told Dawn that the police operation was continuing on the basis of actionable intelligence. However, he said the focus of the operation had shifted from action against criminals to Muharram related activities.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Deputy Secretary General Farrukh Habib said it was decided that under the NAP action would be taken against the suspects across the board. He said it was condemnable and a mockery of justice that policemen had to be apologetic about any lawful action.