Punjab govt, police high-ups 'lock horns' over Layyah DPO's removal.

LAHORE -- The Punjab Police high-ups have locked horns with the provincial government on the issue of transfer of Layyah District Police Officer Shazia Sarwar, who was removed from her post five days back, allegedly to please some 'local politicians'.

After her removal from the post five days back, Ms Sarwar was made an OSD (officer on special duty) and Punjab government issued a notification, posting Nasir Sial as new head of the Layyah district police on Nov 16.

Sources in police say that reacting to the 'unjustified' transfer, the South Punjab police high-ups, supported by their colleagues in the Central Police Office (CPO), Lahore, stopped Ms Sarwar, from relinquishing her charge. The department has also barred Mr Sial from assuming the charge as Layyah DPO, they added.When contacted, the South Punjab police chief, as well as Ms Sarwar confirmed to Dawn on Sunday that she had not relinquished the charge.

Revealing the background of the 'row', an official, seeking anonymity, said some local politicians, having connections in the Punjab government, wanted the DPO to help them in using local police, allegedly to occupy a piece of 'disputed desert land' in the jurisdiction of Chobara police station. Hundreds of acres of 'desert land' is owned by locals, including some widows, in Layyah district, he added.

The official said that Ms Sarwar, after going through the record, came to know that a stay had already been granted by the Lahore High Court on the disputed land, issuing directions to maintain the status quo till the final decision on the litigation.

On knowing the facts, she not only told Layyah deputy commissioner that police won't intervene in the sub judice matter, but also suspended a station house officer from service, for supporting the local politicians in their land...

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