Shariq Jamal Siddiqi District Police Officer of Bhawalnagar an upright and brave officer took action against the gunman of local MNA who had reported slapped a police constable. This was not acceptable to the MNA because he considers himself and his minions above the law that he legislates. The MNA very graciously offered to allow the officer to stay as the district head of police provided he had lunch at his house and apologized for the affront to him. Shariq is an honorable man and was not prepared to agree to such a humiliating treatment at the hands of a local politician for doing his duties. He refused and was transferred as OSD by the government of Punjab.
Sometimes back another upright officer Mr. Nekokara was also not only transferred for giving professional advice but also dismissed from service. His appeal is pending before the services tribunal. The political governments unfortunately are unable to differentiate between their personal servants and a public servant. Therefore such whimsical and unlawful decisions are being taken repeatedly. Politicians also expect the police to violate laws to meet their every unreasonable demand. It is not limited to petty matters but extends to investigation of the serious criminal cases, their prosecution, arrests and even matters of bail. Most of the elected members of assemblies from the ruling party consider it their right to even interfere in the internal administration of police department. There is no check on their wanton behavior and they have the full support of the government.
Transfer of an officer like Shariq for upholding the law is illegal, unwarranted and deplorable. The Chief Minister and the Prime Minster must understand that such actions are primarily responsible for the ineffectiveness of the police forces in the country. Depoliticize the police and half the problems will be solved in a day. Showcasing fancy forces like Dolphin and elite squads will not address the policing problems they have to address the fundamental issue of treating police as servant of the state and not their private employees.
Comments from the serving and retired officers are sought on this incident. Shariq was given a very good farewell because of his principled stand. He is a hero to his force and has earned their gratitude for standing by them.
Afzal A Shigri