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Friday Jan 24 2020

Dirty cops: Sindh's counter-terrorism chief was officially warned for 'protecting' rogue policemen

(L) IGP Sindh Kaleem Imam and AIG Kamran Fazal

KARACHI: The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Sindh, Dr. Kaleem Imam, issued warning letters and "letters of displeasure" to the chief of the provincial Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) after learning of the alleged involvement of some CTD officers in extortion, wrongful confinement, torture for illegal gratification, severe indiscipline, illegal occupation of government houses and mistreatment of citizens, The News has reported.

Additional Inspector General (AIG) Kamran Fazal, who is currently heading the Sindh CTD, has been nominated for the provincial police chief's position by the Sindh government.

Read more: CM Murad formally asks PM Imran to direct establishment division for appointment of new Sindh IGP

The publication reported that in the letters it had seen, IGP Imam had expressed his displeasure with the CTD chief after finding out that some officers working under AIG Fazal were allegedly involved in extortion, illegal confinement of citizens and torture. 

The IGP also sought an explanation as to why the counterterrorism chief was "condoning, rather encouraging, such irregularities" and asked if this was being done with "ulterior motives".

The News reported that two senior superintendents of police, who were mentioned in the letters as "trusted officers of AIG Fazal", had been caught with "ample proof" but the AIG allegedly covered up the investigation and tried to hush up the matter. 

The Sindh police chief noted that both officers were removed from their positions, but regretted that illegal activities under the CTD chief's watch seemed to have "continued unabated".

"The IGP in his letter also quoted the example of a detainee for which the CTD staff demanded a heavy amount of money for his release. The concerned man was eventually recovered by Karachi’s District Central Police from the illegal confinement of CTD," The News reported.

Based on these findings, the Sindh police chief had warned AIG Fazal of initiating disciplinary proceedings against him. 

In another letter, the provincial police chief had sought an explanation as to why a gunman assigned to the CTD chief had illegally occupied a house in PIA Township. 

Not only the gunman but AIG Fazal's guards too were allegedly involved in illegal and abhorrent behaviour. In a separate letter, IGP Imam had expressed his displeasure over the mistreatment of a citizen by the guards accompanying AIG Fazal. 

It bears mentioning that AIG Fazal was involved in a much publicised altercation with civilians in April 2019, when his car forced a civilian car to stop in Karachi's Defence Housing Authority.

Also read: AIG CTD on Karachi police officers' video

In a video of the incident, which had gone viral as citizens criticised the VIP culture and police high-handedness, the civilians' car was blocked by a white double-cabin SUV and police officers told the civilian driver to step out and speak to the 'sir' in the other vehicle. The video had been recorded by a female passenger in the same vehicle. 

Kamran Fazal, who was then a deputy inspector general, had explained the incident as his guards being 'careful' due to his security concerns as head of the counterterrorism department. 

He said he was travelling with his family and that it was the civilian car that had overtaken them and a couple of motorcycles, twice.

Deepening controversy

Reports of the Sindh police chief's differences with the CTD chief have surfaced at a time when the Sindh government is fighting tooth and nail to have the IGP replaced. 

On Thursday, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah had called IGP Imam a "failed police officer" on the floor of the Sindh Assembly. 

“The officer who works according to the policy of the representative of the people can stay in the province, and our policy is not wrong as the people have elected us,” Shah had said while speaking on the floor of the house.

Interestingly, AIG Fazal is one of the officers that the Sindh government wants to replace IG Imam with. 

The Sindh cabinet had on Monday recommended two grade 21 officers and a grade 22 officer for the coveted post. The cabinet recommended the names of Ghulam Qadir Thebo, a grade-21 officer, Kamran Fazal, who is also a grade-21 officer, and Mushtaq Mahar, who is a grade-22 officer.

With additional reporting from the Web Desk