Blame game between PPP man, police Wheat smuggling bid
LAHORE: The wheat smuggling issue became a source of tension between a Gujranwala PPP leader and local police, with both pointing figures at each other for their role in the commodity smuggling. The PPP office-bearer from Noshehra Virkan (Gujranwala) went to the extent of blaming the Punjab chief minister and inspector general of police for his `humiliation’ at the hands of a local station house officer.
Rana Shabir Haider told newsmen on Tuesday that he went to the Noshehra Virkan police station to help truck driver Shahzad, who was arrested along with wheat and flour.
He alleged that SHO Masood Mazhar demanded Rs300,000 from Shahzad in the presence of two witnesses Shahid and Saifullah for his release but the driver paid him only Rs45,000.
On not paying the remaining Rs255,000, the SHO registered an FIR against the driver. Mr Haider said when he reached the police station and asked the SHO to release the truck driver, the SHO said he had settled the matter with the driver against Rs300,000 after which he would be released.
When he insisted on releasing the driver and also contacted the SHO’s maternal uncle for help, the SHO abused him and also subjected him to severe torture. Rana Shabir alleged that the Gujranwala police were directly involved in wheat and flour smuggling and registered cases after their failure to get bribe.
He claimed he had forwarded an application to Gujranwala city police officer in this regard and appealed to the government to provide him justice and take stern action against those police officers who were involved in illegal activities.
On the other hand, Noshehra Virkan SHO told Dawn that Rana Shabir came to the police station on behalf of Fawad, owner of Alkarim Flour Mills Kamoki, whose seven trucks laden with wheat and flour were seized by police officials of the same police station early on Friday.
He said he informed his bosses, the Gujranwala district coordination officer and food department officials about the situation and later an FIR was lodged against the flour mill owner and truck driver the same day for smuggling wheat to Mardan and Swat via Motorway.
The SHO said Rana Shabir reached the police station along with some people and requested him to release the trucks and driver. “On my refusal, he warned me and tried to pressurise the police by making calls to influential people,” the SHO claimed. He denied all charges levelled by Mr Haider and said if the latter had submitted any written complaint to the Gujranwala CPO, he (SHO) would have been detained at the lockup.
The complete article can be found at Dawn News.