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SHC halts decision to send Sindh police chief on ‘forced’ leave

The Sindh High Court on Wednesday restrained the Sindh government from sending the provincial Inspector General of Police (IGP) A.D. Khowaja on leave.

The order was issued on a petition filed by Karamat Hussain, the head of an NGO, and singer-cum-activist Shehzad Roy.

The court issued notices to the IGP and the Sindh government and adjourned the hearing till Jan 12.

Sources earlier told Dawn that the top PPP leadership was not happy with the IGP over many issues, including recruitment of 20,000 constables in the police department, suspension of a recalcitrant police officer and then after his reinstatement not giving him the posting he wanted and his action against those harassing sugar-cane growers in the interior of Sindh.

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They said that the IGP had refused to accept what he considered the illegal demands of the people close to the ruling party on many matters, and, therefore, the top PPP leadership in a recent meeting held in Dubai decided to send him on ‘forced’ leave.

However, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah maintained that the police chief was not sent on a forced leave but he himself has gone on a 15-day leave.

“All I can say is that I am on leave,” IGP Khowaja had told Dawn in his brief response.
A. D. Khowaja’s rift with Sindh govt

Khowaja was appointed IGP, Sindh, on March 12, this year after the government removed then police chief Ghulam Hyder Jamali.

In his over nine-month tenure, Khowaja tried his best to bring improvement in the police department, but he gradually went out of favour with the ruling party as soon as he refused to entertain certain “requests” .

When vacancies in the police department were announced, he formed a committee also comprising representatives of the army’s V Corps and the Citizens-Police Liaison Committee to ensure merit in the recruitment process. This step irked the members of the ruling party who wanted their share in the police recruitment in order to appease their voters ahead of the next general elections.

The sources said Khowaja also earned the top PPP leadership’s ire over the issue of recalcitrant SSP Rao Anwar. The officer was suspended for arresting Leader of the Opposition in the Sindh Assembly Khwaja Izhar-ul-Hasan. Later, his suspension was lifted but still he did not get the post of SSP-Malir although the powerful political elements wanted the IGP to reinstate him to his previous post.

He had been in hot waters after he refused to accept the demand of an influential man, said to be linked with the powerful sugar millers lobby, who was reportedly misusing the police for getting sugar cane supplies for his mills and the IGP ordered the official concerned to stop this practice.

Meanwhile, Karachi police chief Mushtaf Ahmed Mahar, also a grade-21 police officer, has been given additional charge of the IGP, Sindh.

courtesy : dawn news

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