Steps vary from arrest of DJ to registration of case against restaurant for serving PML-N leader
LAHORE: Police officials took some odd steps against the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) apparently in order to please the government.
The steps varied from the arrest of DJ Butt to registration of a case against Butt Karahi restaurant for providing food to Pakistan Muslim LeagueNawaz (PML-N) Leader Maryam Nawaz and issuance of a threat letter ahead of the PDM rally.
The arrest of five suspected militants also took place in Shahdara. The measures taken by police were too overt in an effort to please their political bosses and invited much public criticism.
Various police officers invest much of their energies and resources in improving the tainted image of the department, but such steps further damage its image. Police arrested DJ Butt from its office and to do so, they adopted the usual means — the blatant use of force. Police barged into his place, misbehaved and dragged him to take him to the police station.
In a video showing the arguments between police and DJ Butt, a police officer could be heard saying he had been summoned by the senior officer. DJ Butt was also heard assuring them of going at a later time. However, when the case was registered, the police stated that he had been arrested for violation of the Loudspeaker Act and carrying illegal weapon.
Police reportedly narrated the story that a patrolling team had noticed the Loudspeaker Act violation. However, in the leaked video, there was no such reason uttered by police personnel during the heated argument.
The police also registered dozens of cases against PML-N leaders as well as activists. The oddest one was the registration of a case for violation of Covid-19 SOPs against the restaurant at Lakshami Chowk.
Police took action after PML-N Leader Maryam Nawaz took to social media to share a photo of the food. Another surprising police act was the issuance of a letter about a security threat ahead of the PDM rally.
The letter issued by the Lahore SP Security read that PML-N leaders might be attacked during the rally. So it was not feasible for them to move ahead with their political plans and, instead, they should give these up, it stated. The letter was circulated at various forums. It appeared as though police had used the ‘terror threat’ as a means to deter PDM leaders from organising their rally.
It also appeared that the government and police had turned out to be weak before the opposition by using the terror threats to stop their movement instead of ensuring their security.
Amid this fiasco, the reported arrest of five suspected militants by Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) from Shahdara also unveiled a new security narrative. CTD claimed that the suspected terrorists were arrested hours before their planned terrorist attack at the Civil Secretariat at the time of the offices closing.
The profile of the arrested suspects, ammunition seized from them and the way of their arrest, with no resistance, injuries, firing, explosion and casualties days before the PDM rally also raised eyebrows. Punjab Police was already in hot water amid allegations of being politically motivated in its actions. Governments around the world often treat police as a means of execution of their policies.
However, such aggression towards political issues and challenges of national concern is not a good omen. This approach has left so many dents that the public lost confidence in the work done by the police.