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LAHORE: A few days after showing "disobedience" and having a "heated argument" with Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Lahore Umer Sheikh, Punjab Inspector General of Police (IGP) Inam Ghani transferred Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) Superintendent of Police (SP) Asim Iftikhar to the post of Punjab Traffic Headquarters SP.

The "scuffle" between both the senior police officers had erupted when the CCPO had ordered the Civil Lines SP to arrest Asim Iftikhar as he tried to explain his position for allegedly showing up late in a meeting called at the Punjab Safe Cities Authority (PSCA) in the wee hours on Wednesday to discuss the security arrangements for opposition's Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) rally in Gujranwala. However, CCPO Sheikh withdrew the arrest warrant after some senior police officers present in the meeting intervened and pacified the situation.

According to a notification issued by IG Inam Ghani on Friday, CIA SP Asim has been appointed as the Punjab Traffic Headquarters SP, replacing SP Tariq Aziz who will now serve as the new CIA Lahore SP. The notification, which is effective immediately, did not specify any reason for the transfer.

As per the information, the CCPO had lost his temper during the meeting and directed the Civil Lines SP to lodge an FIR against Asim under section 155 (C) of the Police Order 2002. After the senior officers pacified the situation, the CCPO forced the CIA SP to leave the meeting venue saying his services were no more required for Lahore police.

The incident has created unrest among other divisional SPs and officers working under the command of the CCPO because of his "insulting attitude". Soon after assuming his office, the CCPO remained in controversies after he started treating senior police officers like his subordinates against whom he had been taking unwarranted punitive steps, getting as many as 10 of them booked or arrested so far.

Last month, former Punjab IG Shoaib Dastgir had refused to work after the Punjab government appointed Sheikh as the Lahore CCPO, who allegedly passed disrespectful remarks against Shoaib during his maiden meeting with some police officers. The government, however, replaced Dastgir by incumbent IG Inam Ghani.

In addition, a former station house officer (SHO) of Gujjarpura police station had also accused Lahore CCPO of using abusive language against him over an official matter.

The CCPO had not only suspended the SHO from service, but also had him arrested. However, the SHO was later granted bail by a court after which he moved sessions court that asked the IGP to conduct a probe into the matter that was pending decision.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020

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